Five Tips For Effective Career Development

Your manager, boss or supervisor isn’t responsible for your career. While these individuals can provide you access to more opportunities, or help you develop – it’s ultimately up to you to determine what you’re will to do to secure your success. This means dedicating some time to effective career development.

If you’re keen to make more of an impact in your chosen career, it’s important to start with some planning. Ask yourself regularly what you want to accomplish in your professional life and take steps to figure out how you’re going to reach those targets.

Here are a few brief recommendations to assist you in advancing your  career.

Set Small Goals Often

When it comes to annual reviews, there’s a lot of emphasis is placed on setting goals for yourself to achieve in the future. While  having a clear vision of what you want to accomplish in the long run is beneficial, focusing solely on long-term goals make it difficult to stay motivated.

When you’re only making baby steps,  it can be difficult to find the motivation to keep moving forward.

Setting smaller, more attainable goals will help you stay on track. For instance, rather than setting the goal of becoming the manager of your team and waiting to achieve that, start by setting the goal of developing more leadership skills or volunteering for additional opportunities.

These goals will help you to reach your long-term target without being overwhelming.

Stretch Yourself

Although it’s important to choose tangible and realistic targets for your career, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be challenging yourself too. If, in the end, you want to feel content with the things you have achieved, you should begin by establishing objectives that are so challenging they put your abilities to the very limit.

Look for ways to step out of your comfort zone – even if it’s only a little. Do something that will push you beyond your comfort zone but won’t overwhelm you completely.

For instance, if you don’t like public speaking, you could make a plan to speak to a small local forum to test your presentation skills. This would be a good way to get over the fear of speaking in front of people.  You will have some anxiety as a result of this, but it is much less stressful than organizing a presentation to be given at an event attended by thousands of people.

Learn, Celebrate, and Grow

As you push yourself to achieve your small, short-term goals, pay attention to everything you accomplish. Celebrate those little wins, no matter how small they might seem. Pay attention to whether you’re patting yourself on the back as often as you should be.

While celebrating yourself is crucial, it’s also important to examine areas where you’ve been unhappy with your performance tool.

Rather than beating yourself up for not being good enough, ask yourself what you’re not happy with and why. If you can get feedback from leaders and other members of your team, this could be useful too.

Every time you’re unhappy with an outcome in your professional career, it’s an opportunity to build on your skills and accomplish something new.

Look for Opportunities to Develop Knowledge

Knowledge is power in the business landscape. If you want to successfully develop your career, it’s important to commit to developing your knowledge.

It’s a good idea to learn from mistakes you make, whether you get praise for your efforts or criticism for something you did wrong. However, remember to look for other ways to learn too.

There are countless courses and skill development tools online for people from virtually every industry. If you can’t find a course linked to your specific sector, you can even consider looking into certifications that are transferable across all industries, like better communication or leadership skills.

Read up on blogs and articles written by hought leaders in your industry and listen to  podcasts that could provide you with valuable information about your industry..

Network Effectively

Networking is another important part of building a successful career. Although it can be nerve wracking to connect with others in your industry – particularly if you’re an introverted person -- it’s crucial.

In many careers, it really is who you know that matters most.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to network in today’s digital landscape. You can join groups on social media forums and dedicated industry websites. There are also digital events you might look into attending, and online expos.

If you have the opportunity to interact with individuals in person, you should make every effort to do so whenever possible. The connections you make in person are often the most meaningful. You could even look into getting a mentor to help you network with a wider range of industry professionals.

Time to Start Investing in Your Future?

It’s up to you to take charge of your professional life and pursue the kind of accomplishments that are most important to you. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can sit back and wait for opportunities to fall into your hands.  Follow the tips above.