Your career development is a continuous process. It goes through different stages as you explore, establish, and engage in what you hopefully considered a lifelong work. Life events, interests, and priorities change and cause breaks, declines, and shifts along the way.
Still, you want to advance in your career, whichever it may ultimately be, and succeed in it. This advancement means facing challenges, making choices, and never-ending learning. Learn how to achieve this great aspiration below.
1. Set Your Goals
What do you want to achieve? You can aim for a promotion, a salary raise, or an all-expense paid vacation. Or, realise an idealised version of yourself: efficient, go-getter, versatile, and so on. Goals give you a reason to challenge and change yourself for the better constantly.
And when you are stuck in a not-so-exciting job, the prospect of better things born out of your efforts will keep you motivated.
2. Work with a Plan
SMART goals should be specific, measurable, achievable or attainable, realistic or relevant, and time-bound or time-related. You are done with the first part of your action plan. On to the following steps:
- Enumerate the actions needed to achieve each goal.
- Break every task down into smaller, clearly defined ones
- Prioritise what needs to be done first.
- Set a deadline for the goal, taking into account the length of time to accomplish the individual tasks.
- Identify the resources, such as money, time, and skills, to carry out the actions.
- Keep track of the progress and milestones.
To ensure that what you have is comprehensive, check your action plan’s SCHEMES (space, cash, helpers, equipment, materials, expertise, systems).
3. Say Yes to Learning
Learning doesn’t stop after you’ve graduated and obtained experience. For you to remain competitive and competent, you need to undergo continuing professional development. CPD courses, which can be part of a degree or taken as standalone courses, are designed to upgrade your knowledge and skills.
Updating knowledge about your industry is imperative to improve efficiency, tapping into trends, insights, and methodologies that can acquire new skills.
Attending training, presentations, and professional-related activities also keeps you engaged and interested in your work.
4. Keep Up with Technology
As you keep yourself up to date with industry innovations, your adeptness in using computers, smartphones, and other gadgets will work to your advantage. Work can be heavily dependent on software for tracking time, scheduling meetings and appointments, editing photos and videos, and running data analysis. And you can expect more sophisticated programs and tools to work with in the future.
Indeed, technical skills are indispensable to a modern-day career-driven person like you.
5. Read, Read, Read
When was the last time you picked an excellent book to read? Reading helps in your career advancement by:
- Enhancing your critical thinking
- Stimulating your imagination
- Boosting your reading comprehension
- Improving your writing skills
- Exposing you to a language through words and their usage
- Adding to your knowledge
- Reducing stress levels
Interestingly, the University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Study showed that participants who read 30 minutes a day for years lived longer by two years than those who didn’t.
6. Strengthen Social Skills
Why are people skills so important? They enable you to interact with your co-workers and bosses effectively. And when you aspire for management positions, you will need strong interpersonal skills to lead your team.
The most practical way to improve your people skills is to socialise, although some companies have soft skills training. Soft skills development can also be part of CPD.
It’s not only about verbal communication, as being able to read the room is essential as well. Leadership skills, communication skills, persuasion, trustworthiness, patience, ability to relate to others, honesty, self-awareness, positive attitude, and empathy are only a few of the essential soft skills to succeed at work.
7. Build Yourself Up
There’s no way to go but up in the career ladder, but it’s not going to be an easy climb. Moving to higher positions can also entail more responsibilities and more unknowns as you figure out if this is really what you want.
For now, you certainly need to strengthen your character and constantly work toward self-improvement to advance to the next step. Follow through with your action plan, revise it as your goals change, and believe in your talent and competence.
You are all set to grow in your career from this year onwards.
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