The secret to career growth lies in constantly mastering new skills, capabilities and experiences – and in being yourself. As noted by the late screen star Judy Garland, “Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else.” It’s no wonder that Judy will live in infamy as not only a great actress, but also as an unparalleled pro!
It’s Up to You
Another profound statement on career growth comes from the Harvard Business Review: “Responsibility for your professional development lies squarely on your shoulders.” So, it’s up to you to go out there and make it happen.
Set goals – and stick to them.
This doesn’t mean your career goals will never change. In fact, revising and improving them is a lifelong process. Your goals inspire you to ongoing success and give you a baseline to measure your progress.
Write them down.
The very act of recording your goals is a means to hold yourself accountable for reaching and exceeding them.
Share your goals with your boss.
As you do so, be sure they align with the mission, vision, and values of your company. If there’s a disconnect, then it’s certainly time to either revise your strategy or take your career down a different pathway.
Improve your skill set.
Instead of becoming too comfortable with the status quo, take specific actions to stay current in your field and become better and better at what you do. Read books and blogs. Seek out new training opportunities. When you conquer new skills, practice them as much as you can in your job.
Seek out a mentor.
Develop a relationship with a more senior colleague or respected friend. Let them be a sounding board for your career goals and ideas, as well as a liaison to your future direction. Building a career is a decades-long process, and you can get lots of great ideas from others who have been down a similar path.
Keep an open mind.
Every new assignment, job, and opportunity teaches you something different. Stay open to every possibility and even when a situation seems less than ideal, look at it as a step toward finding what you really want.
Believe in yourself.
As your skills increase, you’ll gain more experience and a clearer understanding of your significance to your company and industry. Believing in yourself and your ability to succeed, without being arrogant, is a positive strength.
Push your limits.
By doing so, you can basically work yourself out of one job and into a better one. The idea is to work efficiently and effectively, and then close the loop on whatever you’re doing. Think in terms of each project to which you’re assigned: plan what you’re going to do, work at it, and when it’s finished, move on to something new. Along the way, create your own chances by making your superiors happy with your performance. You will automatically make yourself more valuable.
Are you looking to grow your career?
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