- Set a Goal (or Goals) and Develop a Plan for Achieving Them
Having a career goal is important, but you won’t get there overnight so you need to set smaller objectives that will lead you to the desired target eventually. View it as when starting a new project and creating tasks along with subtasks related to it. For each subtask you complete, you are ultimately closer to completing the parent task. Small and steady steps are the way to go.
Once the list is done, you need to come up with a plan for reaching your goals. You should set up a timeline since it will put some healthy pressure on you to stick to the plan. It is also important, at the same time, to point out that career development isn’t a competition. So, take the time to learn about yourself and new things. You set the finish line.
- Find a Mentor
One of the best ways to gain the experience needed to advance in your career is to find somebody to look up to. It could be your current or former boss, a friend, or even a coworker. Learn from them, ask to point out your mistakes or weak points along with how to do things better.
You don’t always have to find a mentor who is someone in your close circle. In fact, you can learn from a person that you don’t even know. With the power of social media, and particularly platforms such as Instagram and LinkedIn, as well as fresher apps such as TikTok, along with the secretive Clubhouse, can all be places where you find leaders and professionals that you can look up to.
- Watch, Listen and Read More
Never limit your learning to just a specific format or channel. Out there, you will find endless content that you can learn from; download podcasts to listen to while commuting, bookmark online articles to read afterwards, and watch an interview, documentary, or TV show to disconnect after a long day at work.
You never know when and where you might get a new piece of knowledge that will help you develop a new set of skills or even help you start building a new project, which may grow into something big at a later date.
- Expand Your Skill Set
You might assume that being really good at Excel might not be needed for your field of work and you could be wrong. Any ability or skill is good regardless of your field of work. You could potentially gain the skills that you are currently lacking in an online course, workshop, or even a post-graduate program if you wish to take a deep dive on a certain subject such as project management.
Today, there are virtually thousands of options of both in-person and online courses out there that can help you develop and gain the professional skills needed to succeed in your current position and be a step closer to the job of your dreams.
- Maintain a Good Work-Life Balance
The best entrepreneur or professional isn’t the one that regularly puts on 15 hours of work a day and is constantly preaching about working late. While there will obviously be days when putting in extra hours might be necessary, you shouldn’t let it become a recurrent thing. One of the key aspects of any professional is having a healthy work-life balance and putting mental health first If you take time to spend time away from work, you will end up being more creative, efficient, and happier.
Finally, career development needs to be a slow and steady process; it is all about growing and understanding that it will take time, but each step of the process is important to reach the top. The 5 tips provided here should help you develop a plan to reach your dream position or workplace.