November is Career Development Month. With the end of the year in near sight, it is a great time to start reflecting and planning. Career development should be a journey planned and thought about no matter what stage of career you are in. Think of career development as a road map. You are planning a journey with pinpointed destinations to visit along the way. Those destinations are your goals. These should be thought out thoroughly for how to get there and what it will take to accomplish them. Setting these destinations should make the journey exciting. What career goals would make you excited to accomplish? November is a great time to think about these things. It is the time to reflect on the year. What went well and what could have gone better? What goals do you want to work towards next year? While reflecting on this, consider these quick tips to add to your career journey:
- This should be a given with the advice above: set goals and set them often. Decide on a few larger goals. Set small goals that will help accomplish the larger goals. Check-in with your progress regularly.
- Grow your knowledge. Learn more about your industry. Work towards learning a new skill. Look into certifications. Be curious and always look for ways to continue learning.
- Find a mentor. Someone to look up to. Someone to bounce ideas off of. Someone who can offer advice.
- Look for a challenge. Staying in your comfort zone may feel safe, but taking on challenges will push you to grow.
- Network with people in your industry. Always be open to making connections. You never know where they may lead you.
- Find value in criticism. While it can sometimes be uncomfortable to receive, criticism can offer so much value. Try not to view it as a personal attack, but instead illuminating an opportunity for growth. It could be a door opening for a new goal to work forward, something to grow, and an opportunity to work towards.
- Keep going, no matter the situation. Have you met your goals? Awesome! Celebrate the wins, but keep going. Find the next goals to keep working towards. Did something go completely wrong? Was there a setback? Keep going. Don’t let setbacks stop you.
- Don’t let perfection stand in the way of greatness.
- Always search for inspiration. Look for inspiration from your organization, your coworkers, and your experiences.
- Always end on good terms. Keep your professional relationships positive. If you leave a job, end on a good note. If you decline a job offer, do it in a professional and polite manner. You never know when you may cross paths with those people or those organizations again.
- Stay optimistic. Even when things are challenging, look for the bright side.
- Keep an industry recruiter in your back pocket. Whether you are looking for a new opportunity or are looking to hire, have a partnership with a recruiter who specializes in your industry for when the need arises.
- Keep your LinkedIn up to date. Fully fill out your profile and be thoughtful about it. Doing this simple step may bring opportunities to you.
- Make connections in your organization. Share your thoughts. Participate and help make an impact.
- Know when to take a break.
- Do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
- Celebrate the wins. No matter how large or how small.
- Communicate often. Listen actively.
- Be open to opportunities. This could be an opportunity in a new role, an opportunity to learn something new, an opportunity to work on a project, etc. Any opportunities that will push your career trajectory.
- Advocate for yourself. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Ask for the promotion. Volunteer to lead a project. Be your number 1 supporter and cheerleader in your career journey. Be proactive.
- Share your career goals with your boss. Start the discussion to see how you can work together to meet those goals.
- Do some self-reflection. Figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Discover what excites you. Reflect on these things at least once a year.
November is Career Development Month. What are you going to do this month to step into the next journey in your career?
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