Your manager, boss, or supervisor isn’t responsible for your career. While these people can give you access to more opportunities or help you grow – it’s up to you to decide what you’ll do to ensure your success.
If you’re keen to make more of an impact in your chosen career, starting with some planning is essential. 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 some quick tips to help you enhance your career development.
Set Small Goals Often
When it comes to annual reviews, there’s a lot of focus on setting massive targets for yourself to accomplish sometime in the distant future. While having a sound vision of what you want to achieve eventually is excellent, focusing exclusively on long-term goals can make it challenging to maintain motivation. Sometimes you are not as inspired to push forward as you only make little steps.
Setting smaller, more achievable goals will help to keep you on track. For instance, rather than putting the dream of becoming your team’s manager and waiting to achieve that, start by developing more leadership skills or volunteering for more opportunities.
These goals will help you to reach your long-term target without being overwhelming.
Although choosing tangible and realistic targets for your career is essential, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be challenging yourself too. Ultimately, to be satisfied with your accomplishments, you’ll want to start by setting goals that push you to test your limits.
Look for ways to step out of your comfort zone – even if it’s only a little. Do something that scares you slightly but that you can still handle.
For instance, if you do not like public speaking, you could plan to speak to a small local forum to test your presentation skills. Stepping out of your comfort zone will give you some anxiety, but it’s much easier than planning to host a presentation with thousands of people at an event.
Learn, Celebrate, and Grow
Pay attention to everything you accomplish as you push yourself to achieve your small, short-term goals. Celebrate those little wins, no matter how small they might seem. Pay attention to whether you are patting yourself on the back as often as you should be.
While celebrating yourself is crucial, examining areas where you have been unhappy with your performance tool is essential. Rather than beating yourself up for not being good enough, ask yourself what you’re not happy with and why. Getting feedback from leaders and other team members is helpful.
Whenever you are 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 develop your career successfully, committing to expanding your knowledge is essential.
Gaining education through experience, whether with positive feedback or advice about something you did poorly, is a good start. However, remember to look for other ways to learn too.
There are countless online courses and skill development tools for people from virtually every industry. If you can not find a course linked to your specific sector, you can consider looking into transferable certifications across all industries, like better communication or leadership skills.
Read up on blogs and articles from thought leaders in your industry and follow podcasts that could give you valuable industry information about your landscape.
Networking is another essential part of building a successful career. Although it can be nerve-wracking to connect with others in your industry – particularly if you are an introverted person — it’s crucial.
In many careers, it is who you know that matters most.
Fortunately, there are many 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 online expos.
If you can meet people in real life, try to make time to do so. The connections you make in person are often the most meaningful. You could even consider getting a mentor to help you network with a broader range of industry professionals.
Time to Build Your Future?
You must take control of your career and pursue the accomplishments that matter most to you. Don’t think you can sit back and wait for opportunities to fall into your hands. Follow the tips above.