Career Development

Career Development. Who tells us about this when we start in our first job or make decisions about college? No one.

So do we end up in the perfect job or are we a square peg in a round hole, forever sub-clinically depressed? It’s pot-luck!

Matching the true you, your values and your talents to your role is the challenge, so in here we aim to give you some pointers to set you right.

And it need not require you to do a runner and disappear into the jungle for 5 years. Not necessary – nothing so dramatic!

Using Career Development as a path, you can ease yourself into a role you really do love and where, therefore, you can do your best work. Because unless there’s a fit, no-one will be a winner.

“To love what you do and feel that it matters – how could anything be more fun?.”

Katherine Graham

It’s about a correlation between you, your values and where you’ve landed up. Sometimes it will be about a change of business; sometimes a change of role in a larger organisation and sometimes a complete shift to something very, very different.

And sometimes, you will be already, just perfect where you are.

Top Ten Things About Career Development

There are some tactics you can action whatever you wish for from your career. Whatever you might think right now, you have all the tools you need for a career which give you joy and fulfilment.

You might not think that possible, or that it will leave you cash poor. But that’s not usually the case. Your life can change within your control.

The best at Career Development

  1. Recognise Unease
    They see within themselves that they are not as happy as they should be and take steps to find out why.
  2. Get Creative
    Through the murk and confusion, they are able to step back and see the big picture and leave nothing out as options.
  3. Understand their Values
    By finding out just what is truly important to them – what gives them a real buzz, they use this to create a picture of what it is they  ant from their career.
  4. Devise Tactics
    And so they plan, step by step to see what they can leverage from their current role. What they have elsewhere that they can utilise. All to prepare for moving towards their future
  5. Have a Goal
    And they have a Vision; a goal that they want to get to. This gives their activities towards their Career Development energy and focus.
  6. Prioritise
    Yet they take it step-by-step, in line with other parts of their lives. Unless they feel there is a moment now where the time has come to make a dramatic step, they take their time, priority by priority, to prepare the way.
  7. Are Focused
    The best at Career Development are able to deliver their existing role, keep their eye on the future ball as well as preparing themselves for the next challenge.
  8. Know their Strengths
    Vital to be clear on, many who are those round pegs in the square holes strive to get much, much better at the things they struggle with. Bad idea. Top performers work their strong points well and delegate the rest – or find a different role.
  9. Are Ambitious
    These folks are on a mission. They want the best for themselves. The very best stop at nothing to get there and use some skills which may verge on selfishness, both in the workplace or in their domestic setting.
  10. Plan
    Often they may map out their Career Development way into the distance. Truth is they are very unlikely to take their future by chance.

Ten Ways to be Better at Career Development

  1. Understand What’s Important
    Take a step outside the world you are in at the moment and get really clear on what’s really important to you. Ask yourself tough questions – or get a coach to help you! Get below your current level of thinking.
  2. Look for Options
    Get ready to decide whether there are opportunities in your current business or organisation for where you need to go.
  3. Get a Plan
    Then you have some timescales and milestones to set down, so that you know where you are going and by when.
  4. Leverage
    By using your current role, consider what actions you can take to prepare yourself for a role closer to your heart.
  5. Say No
    There will be times when a promotion might be tempting and it always takes a lot to refuse. But does it fit your grand plan? If you do take up an offer, how much is it about money and ego – and not what the true you really wants? What challenges could short-term gain cause you? Are you locking yourself in?
  6. Steps
    You may find that to get to where you want to in your Career Development can’t easily be achieved in one bound. So look for steps you can take towards your goal.
  7. Deliver
    Don’t take your eye off the ball currently. Falling short in your performance before you are ready to move on will not help. Though it is an indication that you are in the wrong place!
  8. Reserve
    If you are going to make challenging decisions, create a financial reserve for yourself – this gives you space and time to think when real opportunities present themselves.
  9. Seek Help
    Use outside support to help you get your square peg into a square hole. A coach who will ask the right quality of questions of you.
  10. Honour Yourself
    Make sure that you recognise the challenge you are putting yourself through. You are on a mission to create the best work decisions you can – that is difficult, but you can and will succeed. Taking extreme care of yourself is very important.

5 Simple Actions You Can Take Today!

  • Checkout signs of boredom; fatigue and a general lack of drive.
  • Get help with finding out your values from a coach or one of the books below.
  • Decide what would be your dream job. Checkout the job sections of papers that appeal. Dream, really dream about it – because if you do, the chances are that you can have it.
  • Create steps and milestones of what your actions need to be.
  • Consider the resources available to you, right now, where you are and leverage them.

Read some great books – like:-

“What Color is Your Parachute” – Richard Nelson Bolles
“Career Anchors: Discovering Your Real Values” – Edgar H. Schein
“Transitions” – William Bridges