November is National Career Development Month! National Career Development Month was created to shine light on the importance of focusing on bettering ourselves throughout our careers. We never stop learning, so why not learn how to further develop your career? This article will discuss our best tips on career development, while concentrating on job exploration, job search and career advancement.
The first step in career development is assessment. What is important to you? What traits and skills do you encompass that you bring to the table? There are several assessments available to see what types of jobs could be right for you. Consider taking a personality test; this could open your eyes to what you need to improve on and new skills you have acquired. Once you’ve completed this step, job exploration is next. During this step, you learn more about the careers and occupations that appear to be a fit for someone with your skills and traits. Use your network to ask questions, set up informational interviews, and consider job shadowing experiences. Spend time on this step to learn as much as you can.
Refer to AthLife’s articles Career Path Investigation or The O*NET – a Career Exploration Tool
When searching for a new job or even a promotion at your current job, be sure to document your wins! When you keep track of your wins, you will know exactly what you bring to a new team or position. Knowing what you have to offer will help you if you are in discussion of promotions, raises, searching for new jobs outside of your company and even asking for additional responsibilities at work. If you know you will be job searching within your current company, consider getting to know other colleagues. Being friendly with colleagues in other departments could lead to assisting with new projects, develop new skills, passions or a new job.
When beginning your career, you are eager to learn how to advance. Consider speaking with a senior leader to get their advice on how to grow. Most people in a senior leadership position will be more than happy to speak with you about how you can advance your career and where to look for your next promotion. You could ask to speak with them for 15 to 30 minutes in their office or even ask them out for coffee. Another way to advance your career is to learn how to compliment someone and mean it. Learning how to interact with different personalities and how to pay compliments without sounding like your sucking up will go a long way. If speaking to your boss, give specific examples about how they have helped you and what you learned. Once this becomes comfortable, you will start hearing compliments come back to you.