Whether you have a job or are currently looking for a job, you as the employee are in charge of your career development. If you already have a job, you might think you don’t need to develop anymore, but that attitude is a sure fire way to find yourself without a job. As an employee, you constantly have to be learning and seeking to be a better employee.
But, how do you do that? While career development may sound like something that takes place in a classroom, it certainly doesn’t need to. As an employee, it’s your responsibility to make sure you stay up-to-date on issues and make sure you are someone people want working for them.
Here are 7 things you can do that will lead to career development:
- Knowing yourself. In order to really make the most of your career, you need to know yourself. But what does that mean? You need to know your strengths and weaknesses. What sets you apart from other employees? What do you offer your employer or potential employer that no one else can?
- Managing your reputation. You don’t want to come off as someone who brags about all of their accomplishments, but you need to share your accomplishments with the people in your network. Tools like LinkedIn can help you do this in a professional way.
- Building up a network. In today’s professional world, it pays to have a network of contacts. By joining organizations, volunteering, attending social event and conferences, and being part of associations, you can build up your network.
- Staying current. You need to constantly be learning and developing the skills that are in high demand for your profession. You need to focus on skills that can be transferred from one job to another, if the opportunity should arise.
- Balancing your skills. While it is great to have specialty skills, you also need to make sure you have general skills that will allow you to be a more versatile employee no matter where you are working.
- Keeping track of your achievements. Instead of going after job titles, you need to be seeking out assignments and projects that will allow you to showcase and prove your skills and knowledge.
- Leaving your options open. You always need to be prepared for the worst. The truth of the matter is you never know when your company may go under, your department downsized, or your assignment terminated. If you’re doing the other six things in this list, you should be good to go if something happens.
What do you do to keep your career on track? Share your tips and secrets in the comments section below!
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