Wherever you are in your journey, you may have given some thought about your career development. In fact, there’s no better time than now.
Explore these 5 tips to get started:
Build your portfolio
You’ve done some really great work, so be sure to record any of your projects, accomplishments and outcomes.
Clearly show what you can bring to the table as a professional. Don’t forget, you’ll need to update your resume with this information as well, or include a link to the webpage.
Plan your career development path
Where do you want to be 1, 5, 10 or even 20 years from now? Do you want to work for a bigger company? How much do you want to make? Take up a leadership position? Start your own company?
A career development plan is a personalised strategy to help you achieve your career goals. It should be incorporated with your strengths and career development aspirations.
Create a plan with reasonable deadlines to set both short-term and long-term goals. Once you’ve done that, map out the actions you need to take to get there. Having a plan is not sufficient if it is not actionable.
While it is great to know exactly where you want to be, be prepared to be flexible in restructuring your plan along the way.
Focus on your soft skills
Improving key soft skills such as effective communication (including listening and body language!), problem-solving, creativity, time management, negotiation, teamwork etc. can make a world of a difference.
Soft skills are extremely important in almost all roles and industries. These days, technical skills are often no longer sufficient for many employers.
Never stop learning
Keep yourself up to date by searching for new opportunities to learn.
While licensing or certifications may not be necessary, you should still continue to find resources to stay sharp in your field. This could be learning the latest software, attending webinars/workshops by professionals, keeping up with the latest news, reading books etc.
Not only do you learn something new, but you also practice self-motivation and dedication and that, my friend, goes a long way.
Build your network
Consistently take time to network and build your list of contacts as you progress through your career. This could be anyone – fellow alumni, former college professors, former employers and co-workers or from networking events.
As much as possible, maintain these connections by reaching out to them genuinely from time to time.