In this pragmatic era of the millennials where the generations are more motivated by a purpose than a paycheck, it’s almost an archaic concept where the company dictates its employee’s career development path. Now with the paternalistic corporate culture being a history, it is imperative for professionals seeking meaningful career trajectories to look forward into a broader spectrum of their career objective and be constantly on the lookout for increasingly unique and satisfying career opportunities. All this, in turn, narrows down to building up effective tactics and strategies that will boost your professional success while being loyal to your current employer, of course as long as your respective interests concur.
While career development sure sounds like something out of a management course, it certainly doesn’t need to be confined within the walls of a classroom just like career guidance skills being limited only to a professor or a mentor. You can now own your career development plans and talent improvising strategies and be your own mentor with these 7 simple but concrete tips listed below:
Know yourself and adopt the craftsmanship mindset: to work towards a better career path it is essential for an employee to know and identify his/her set of soft and hard skills. Knowing what you offer to the company’s development that no one else can, will be instrumental in developing in your career curve. It is also extremely important to look forward with a craftsmanship mindset than being stuck with a pre-existing passion. It is essential to develop a plethora of hard skills even outside of that pre-existing passion so that the passion does not stand as a road-block in your career path.
Enhance and stretch your personal brand: after identifying what you excel in, look out for all the other complementary skills that you essentially need to develop and go after it immediately. Be a versatility who knows what to learn and how to quickly learn it by pushing past your natural inclination to only do what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing. Adaptability is essential in climbing up the corporate ladder.
Reputation and Work Ethics management: one of the most important strategies of career development is managing your reputation. Make sure you don’t come off as a prude or someone who only brags about himself/herself. Share your accomplishments with the people in your network in goodwill. What weaves everything together to walk towards a brilliant career is a positive workplace outlook. Believing that there’s a positive outcome in all or any challenging situation that you are faced with will help you navigate smoothly through your job while making other people really want to work with you.
Open yourself and your work to feedback: Your skill development and practice should not take place in a vacuum. Take up real projects and be open to constructive criticism, as when it comes to the workplace, being open and being able to receive development feedback work as a catalyst in honing your skills. If you are not yet comfortable with taking in a lot of criticism or feedback, make giving and taking feedbacks a part of your daily to-do list by asking for feedback from more people you work with to get immediate help in polishing your skills and making it easier to absorb. The key to giving and receiving feedback is to come into the conversation with a mindset of goodwill.
Develop your Learning ability: Learning skill is the most important skill that you develop because it greatly helps you to develop other essential skills smartly and easily. That main ingredient that is instrumental in developing great learning skill is motivation and curiosity. Here, curiosity plays a vital role. It makes the learning and developing skills process a lot more interactive and enjoyable. Curiosity will drive you to know more about a particular skill or idea simply because it’s something that you enjoy doing. A curious person is naturally motivated.
Time management on learning and developing a skill: it is important to make a schedule at the beginning of each week stating how much time you must spend on different activities and skills. Focus and work only on the things that matter. Minimize the time you spend on activities that won’t help you in honing your skills. Shorten your learning cycle by making a quality effort. Prepare yourself as good as you can before presenting an idea which will bring in a lot of quality feedback and act upon the feedback accordingly.
Always have a plan B: leaving your options open is vital as it acts as a buffer. You may never know when a disaster will strike and your company will go down under or your department will get downsized, therefore it is really clever and realistic to always have a plan B in hand. Building up a network is essential to survive such blows. Join organizations, volunteer for a cause, attend social events and conferences, and be a part of associations so that you meet a lot of people who can later act as your safety net.
These tips not only work as effective career guidance and development tips but also following these to the best of your abilities will provide you with the satisfaction that you have given your best.
Kyra Chawla is a Managing Director at Alliance Recruitment Agency. She specializes in helping clients for international recruiting, staffing, HR services and Careers advice service for overseas and international businesses.