First thing is first, what is career development? Think of career development as a road map. There is a starting point and a destination you would like to reach. In order to get to that destination, planning is involved for how you will get there, what route to take and what road bumps may occur. Career development is similar in that you have a long-term goal and need to create a plan for how to reach it. This will require planning out short-term goals that will build up to accomplishing long-term goals.

Why continue thinking about career development

Being intentional through career development can lead to more than achieving a successful career path. Career development helps bring a feeling of value to skills that are built and continue to be developed. It can also increase motivation at work. Accomplishing goals and meeting milestones is something to look forward to. Feeling valuable, and motivated and having clearly set goals will bring more happiness and satisfaction into your career. Think about once you have reached retirement; are there milestones you want to achieve to look back on and be proud of?

How to plan and continue career development

Career development should be maintained throughout your career. Intentional goal setting and planning on how to achieve them is where it all begins. New goals should be continued to be set throughout the career path. Consider your interests and what you are good at. What things could you improve on? What skills could you obtain to help reach your goals? Continuing education is a great way to work on career development. That could be through school, certifications, or hands-on experience. Build your network and find a mentor. Build a relationship with an industry recruiter, such as an animal health recruiter, to keep in your back pocket for advice and future opportunities. Think about what the next step in your career will be and how that will affect your long-term plan. Consider how to get promotions or when the right time is to look at new opportunities. Continuing to think about your strengths and weaknesses, relying on your network, and being intentional with your goal planning and execution are ways to continue to develop your career.

Career development is not something that should only be considered at the beginning of your career. Consistent and intentional actions working towards career development with bring a more fulfilling and successful lifelong career.

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