“It’s not what you achieve; it’s what you overcome. That’s what defines your career.” —Carlton Fisk.
It is essential to develop your career plan as it gives you the much-needed direction and makes it clear where you see yourself in the future. It makes you aware of your strengths and weaknesses and the skills and knowledge required to achieve your goals in the future.
A large proportion of our lives is spent achieving our career goals; thus, it is crucial to ensure proper steps are taken and correct planning is done.
So, let’s check six things you can do to take control of your career development.
Are you happy with the path you’ve taken so far? Are you in the right industry and role? Knowing that is the first step to creating a way to get there.
Set aside some time to reflect on who you are, where you’ve been, and what you ultimately want from your working life.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is to talk about things loosely and not establish clear next steps. Without clearly defined steps and ownership, it’s easy for plans to fail and progress to be lacking.
Writing it down provides a record to reflect on over time and will help you stay on top of making progress.
2- Break your goal into small pieces
Getting a promotion, a big raise, or reaching an important goal at work does not happen overnight. Take the time to think about your career growth and break down your goal into the steps you can take to get there. Set goals and create a plan to achieve them.
Brainstorming ways to learn new skills, future projects to get involved in specifically, and mentorship opportunities can build a healthy list of bite-size steps to reach your goals. You can then pick them off one by one as they make sense to achieve regular, incremental progress.
3- Check-in at a high level how you’re doing
Top performers constantly learn and adjust and routinely seek feedback from their boss, peers, and subordinates. If your boss doesn’t proactively give you feedback, start the conversation yourself. After a presentation or big meeting, state one thing you think went well and then ask for advice on one thing you could improve.
Ask your manager things like:
Do you feel my skills are improving in the areas we identified as weaknesses?
What are the most significant barriers I still have to the next promotion, raise, etc.?
How have I performed on recent projects we’ve identified as necessary to my growth?
4- Focus on continual learning
You live, and you learn. No matter how old or wise you get, there are always lessons you can understand.
Multiple ways to experience career growth by investing in your career development and progress are available. Check these examples.
Job shadowing can provide enough information about the different jobs. In job shadowing, the participant also sees and experiences the nuances of how the service is provided and the job performed.
A lateral move is an opportunity for an employee to expand their career path opportunities because it gives them a chance to develop their skills and network with a new circle of employees and customers.
Also, the lateral move provides a career path for employees through additional training and new experiences or responsibilities. It may help the employee overcome boredom and dissatisfaction they may have had with the previous position.
Hold book clubs at work to develop knowledge, and share terminology, concepts, and team-building with coworkers.
5- Enlist your manager as an ally
Your boss can be a great asset to you. They can help pave the way for getting training money, create opportunities for job shadowing or lateral moves, know about future openings and hiring plans that may fit your goals. They also can spot upcoming projects to get you on to gain experience.
6- Find a mentor who can help guide you
One of the most effective ways to advance your career is to consult someone whose career path you admire. Seek a mentor from a different department that you’d like to explore. Leaning on someone else’s experience is a great way to gain knowledge and introduce yourself to other opportunities. But pouncing on someone — “Will you be my mentor?” — is likely to scare them off. So, try to meet informally: in the coffee shop in your company’s lobby, or at the company picnic. Know the person’s bio, and be prepared to ask a few good questions related to their area of expertise. If things go well, you’ll hear, “If I can help you, let me know.” In time, a mentor relationship may develop organically.
WEEKLY VOCABULARY 🗣
Aspiration: a hope or ambition of achieving something.
Career growth: is the process of climbing the ladder during your working life.
Working life: the part of a person’s life when they do a job or are at work.
Optional: available to be chosen but not obligatory.
Ally: someone that aligns with and supports a cause with another individual or group of people.
PHRASAL VERBS ✍
Take (someone) on
“When the boss first took me on, he filled me in on what the job involved, but he didn’t tell me I would have to do so much traveling.”
“It’s amazing how much we can get done when we all pull together, isn’t it?”
Step down / hand over
“I’m 70 years old now, so I think it’s time for me to step down and hand over my company to my son.”
”She wants to get ahead in her career.”
Chief cook and bottle washer: to be the person who is responsible for everything.
A big cheese: an important person, a leader (usually about business).
To crack the whip: to make someone work harder by threatening them.
To bring home the bacon: to earn a living for the family.
Have a lot on your plate: you have a lot of work and responsibilities at the moment.