Career Development Guide

In this new world of consistent and fast change, it’s vital to stay ahead by developing and learning more.
Career development is the way to keep up because it makes you ready to face the future by improving your present version.
Some companies put their employees' future development into action by consistently offering them opportunities and reassessing their skills. Unfortunately, these companies are rare. To develop your career, you’re most likely on your own in that.
But there’s no need to worry. This career development guide has got you covered.

How to Plan Your Career Development?

The journey of career development starts from within by raising your self-awareness and learning more about yourself. Plus, deciding on your goals and being in tune with your wants will set you off on a successful path.
Following these steps will help you do that:

Look in the Mirror and Start Self-reflecting

By self-reflecting on what’s gone and what’s to come, you’ll be taking the first step of many toward career development. Self-reflection is a vital exercise in your personal life, as well as, your professional career.
  • Make a calm and quiet environment: self-reflection should be done in a comfortable place where you feel safe
  • Write it down: to fully make your self-reflection effective and to make it easier to act upon it
  • Consider the alternatives and dive deep into yourself: ask yourself about everything and address the what-ifs
  • Take some actions: there’s no point to self-reflection if it’s not crowned with actions, so see if you need to take action and do it
So, reflecting on what you’re doing now and what you aspire to do in the future is vital. It’ll make you aware of your strengths to take full advantage of them and your shortcomings as it enables you to improve them. Plus, it’ll help you decide on your next action to better your career.

Put Yourself in Someone's Shoes

Job shadowing other employees in the same company or even people in different industries will improve your understanding of this career. Because learning more about different types of jobs in your company, or somewhere else, will help you decide on your next step.
By putting yourself in others’ shoes, you can see the bigger picture clearer and judge better for yourself. Getting out of familiar environments will offer you insights into your future path and make you decide if this suits you or not.

Begin Setting Your Plan and Goals

After reflecting and being aligned with yourself, it’s time to start planning. Setting goals and writing them down will make you fully visualize your development.
Plus, it’s best to set short time goals before long-term ones because these small steps will pave your way to the bigger ones.
Making a timeline of your goals and writing them down will help you decide whether your career development lies within your current job or somewhere else.
So, make sure to set your goals in the SMART way. Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound are the acronyms for SMART goals.

Put Your Plan into Action

After setting your goals and knowing exactly what you want, it’s time to take action to achieve them. Taking courses and consistent learning is your way to go.
Whether you choose to work on improving your current job skills, general soft skills, or new skills irrelevant to your field. It’s all about your needs. You can also use the help of a life coach.
Keeping up with the ever-changing nature of this world makes it essential to commit to lifelong learning and development.

Maybe It’s Time to Move

The next step wouldn’t always be in the same direction. Maybe it’s time you changed course. For example, instead of staying still in marketing, it might be best to transfer into management.
Sometimes, developing your career won’t necessarily mean moving up the same path, but going into another. That entails fully inspecting your current state and possible opportunities.
You can do this by applying the SWAT method, which will help you evaluate the time, effort, and stress load of your current job.
This also means you need to be brave enough to go out of your comfort zone and leave what you’ve been used to.

Develop Your Network

Developing a wide network and making your presence known in your cycle is essential to your career development. Having beneficial connections with people in your field or other fields will help you act on your plans and provide you with endless opportunities.
Introducing more people to your personal brand and what you can bring to the table will get you more chances to shine out. So, attending events and conferences while making an effort to mingle with people can pay off in the end.

Create a Life Purpose

Moving forward will get tiring eventually because you’re only human, right? But having a vision and a purpose will help you get back on track.
Seeing the bigger picture of your life purpose and what you mean to achieve in the future is what will make you ignore the small setbacks.
Developing your career won’t be successful without a purpose and vision to make you move towards your goals. If there’s no passion pushing you towards achieving and developing more, you’ll only burn out.
Having a long-term purpose won’t make you stop at a certain point in life like retirement because why would you stop if you got more to give?
So, make sure to always remember the vision and purpose you started this whole journey with.

Conclusion

There’s no limit to what you can achieve or where you can shine. While there’s a great emphasis on career planning and development for young, freshly employed people, career development is also important to experienced ones.
To stop developing and growing means to stop living because there’s no point in working if you have no ambition for more. Your final objective should not be just employment, but rather growth and development.
Spending your whole life working a mediocre job that has no appeal to you isn’t the best way to do life. Because believe it or not, working could be fun! Your career makes you who you are, and it’s always best to be known as ever-changing and developing.