Your career is an integral part of your life. And continuing professional education is no longer optional; to compete in a challenging, internationalized job market, you should continuously progress and learn to stay competitive to be on top of your career.
What is necessary for success? Career development should be everyone’s area of interest – professional, commercial, and academic. By developing a formal and well-thought-out path and planning your career progression, you are more likely to use all available opportunities and realize your potential.
For any successful person, career development is not a one-time planning or one-time exercise but a continuous self-examination and improvement process. Consider these tips and tricks as you embark on developing your career.
Career Development Process
Here are the main steps you can follow for your career development:
You should know your personality type, interests, career values, skills, abilities, and work style. There are many ways to find out your values, and the fastest way is to take a personality assessment test that will help you see your qualifications.
By evaluating them, you can understand which professions will fit your skills, as well as your interests and preferences.
Here you start looking for a job and learn more about career opportunities. A person will learn or gain knowledge about the job. For example, the skills that are needed.
Knowledge of a profession means that you should be aware of the career or job you will strive for.
It would be more beneficial if you had a clear career goal that reflects what you want in your career. When setting goals, you should take these two into account:
- Your self-esteem
- Career information
The combination of these two factors should help you determine the possible directions for your career. By setting career goals, you set the direction for your career growth. You set a goal or point to which you should reach in the future.
At this stage, you should consider developing the following:
- A Career Development Action Plan that details the steps you will take to achieve your short-term and long-term career goals.
- A career vision statement that reflects what you desire to achieve in your profession.
So you might already be working for a company. You are doing your job, and you are doing it well. However, good performance is not the only element that counts when you’re ready for promotion. The company will probably want to hire someone who will continue to add value to the organization.
It means that you, the employee, should constantly develop yourself. You can try to expand your knowledge or sharpen and improve your skills. Employers are more grateful to employees who take the initiative to improve themselves because they are dedicated to their own career development.
UC Berkeley suggested a rule 70-20-10 when it comes to developing your skills:
- 70% should be for on-the-job training and practical training. Experience of practical and direct work is still considered the best teacher or source of learning. You can do this by taking a more active part in the organization. For example, project management, collaboration with other teams or departments, awareness of other employees’ work, job observation, and much more.
- 20% should come from interacting with others through coaching, mentoring, community service, among others. You might be surprised at how much you learn from others, even outside the organization.
- 10% should be spent on training, sessions, courses, seminars, conferences, and similar events. It takes only 10% because it is mostly theoretical.
As you manage your career, you should consider:
Building Strong Relationships
It would help if you never disqualified the importance of relationships in your career. Most career development efforts fail because of the lack of attention paid to building relationships.
As soon as you join a work organization, you are already in the company of different people: your bosses and executives, your colleagues, clients, and others.
Communication is an essential business skill that will undoubtedly be very useful when trying to move your career forward (or up).
Continuous Career Planning
A career plan can change depending on changing situations and circumstances. Your career plan may also need to be changed or updated. It means that career planning is an ongoing process and may consist of a series of career plan updates.
Relook At Your Goals
At some points in your career, you may find that your priorities change, which requires setting new goals or getting rid of some. Career needs can also change, and aspirations and goals need to be changed or updated.
As you think about changing careers, one of your challenges may be to write a winning resume. A direct chronological career change story does not necessarily convey your ability to take on new challenges.
While everything on your resume needs to be completely true, you can use certain strategies to make your past work and accomplishments work for you creatively.
You should ask yourself why you want to make these specific changes, what you know about your new profession, what skills and experience your potential employer requires for the particular role you are seeking, and how you are suitable.
Until you are clear about this in your mind, it is not yet time to convince someone else of your abilities and potential for success in your new field. However, as soon as you come to a firm understanding of these issues, you should be ready to work!
Cater To Employers
Arrange a few similar job descriptions for what you want to do side by side. Look for the desired skills that you have.
For example, if you see common words for a skill such as “identify,” “prioritize,” “accurately,” “promote,” “guide,” or “collaborate,” use them as a starting point for describing what you have done and what you have achieved.
As you define your transfer skills and experiences, present them using vocabulary and jargon from the industry you seek to join.
If you see other skills required for your work, use them both in your main points and your resume’s skills section.
Carefully Choose What Accomplishments To Feature
Suppose you have been working in your current role and field for quite some time. Many of your tasks and achievements likely depend on the specific conditions on the ground.
Your current and former employers may consider it meaningful, but they will not necessarily resonate with the future employer.
Therefore, you will have to go through all of what you have done and include only the most relevant experiences, using language easily understood by the hiring authority in another environment.
Your resume is a document, not an autobiography. You do not have to include everything you have ever done, and every place you have ever done it. Limit yourself to two or three points for each position you hold.
Present Yourself As A Professional
Get involved in various professional organizations related to the roles and industries you are interested in. Highlight them on your resume.
Be sure to note the well-known courses you have taken and the certificates or diplomas you have received related to your new career, perhaps even in your corporate identity on top of your resume.
If you have done any form of volunteer work in the field you want to move into, make it visible by moving it to the Professional Experience section.
Take A Step Backward To Move Ahead
You may have moved up the management level from medium to high. However, in a new area, you may have to take a step back. It may have significant implications for how much detail you have put into your resume.
Get the unwanted bristles of completely unimportant details that do not add to your case. Point it out and summarize, but do not waste time on details that distract you from who you desire to be rather than what you have done.
Tips For Successful Career Development
Here are a few additional things to help you in your career development.
Undergo Coaching For Career Development
There should be no problem with admitting that you need help in your career development. If you have a career development plan in place, and you know you will have difficulty implementing it – you should admit the fact that some help would be beneficial.
Then use the services of a career coach who will guide you. If you don’t like the idea of hiring a professional career advisor, you may want to find a mentor.
They can be anyone in your organization or someone you respect and can talk to about your work. It might be good to choose a mentor who knows exactly what you are doing, someone who has preferably done it.
Accept Your Weaknesses
The problem with some people during self-evaluations is that they tend to focus only on their strengths. They often refuse to look at their weaknesses, thinking that it will hurt their chances of landing their dream job.
However, it is imperative to recognize these weaknesses to know which areas to work on. It does not necessarily mean that you should ignore your strengths. Your goal should be to keep making them better.
Develop A Schedule To Achieve Your Career Goals
Suppose you have a career goal that does not have a specific date to achieve it. There can be a tendency that you will be careless with it.
By making your goal time-bound, you should feel that working toward your goal requires urgent action. Therefore, you should be more motivated to achieve that goal.
Look For Opportunities To Develop Skills In All Places
Some employees are happy to have opportunities to develop their skills within the company. You should take the initiative and look beyond the organization.
Try to get out of your comfort zone. It usually makes the learning process more memorable and often more effective. The key to this is that learning never stops.
Use The Company’s Programs
Some companies have official programs that help employees develop their careers. At other companies, you will need to continue your career development informally.
Companies that have plans tend to focus on assisting employees in developing and following their careers.
Your Career Path
You can discuss your career path at several meetings with your manager. Some companies demonstrate a deep loyalty to their employees by providing time and money resources where possible. Remember, however, that this is your career path.
To Sum Up
Career development is one of the key aspects of a person’s overall development. Many people cannot find satisfaction and true happiness if their career is not given due attention. Often, for them, personal life and career go hand in hand. They can not move forward with one if they do not work with the other.
Most people want to be known as a socially responsible professional. The right career will eventually be the source of your happiness, so it is vital to choose the right one.
Choosing the right career will help you find meaning in the work you do and see it as a “calling.” It will help you enjoy your work and your life.