Employees Must Take The Lead For Their Career Development

Posted on July 3, 2018 by

In many situations, employees who have become disgruntled will point the finger for their stalled career development at their employers. In reality, this finger needs to be pointed in the opposite direction. Unless an employee is willing to take the initiative to proper their own career forward, they will find themselves in a place of stagnation. These are the ten best ways for an employee to take the lead for their career development.

1. Self Assessment Of Goals, Performance and Aspirations

An employee who is committed to the task of developing their career is always ready, willing and able to cast an objective eye towards their own performance and where it fits in with their career goals and aspirations. Career development takes place when an employee honestly assesses their strengths and weaknesses and develops a feasible plan to improve on the former and eliminate the latter.

2. Ascertain Long Term Goals

Unless you have a destination in mind, you will never be able to determine the length of your journey. When the development of your career seems to have hit a dead end, this can be a blessing in disguise, as it forces you to thoroughly consider what your career’s goals and objectives are. Where would you like to be in five years? Or ten? If you are not planning to move forward, then you are merely planning to tread water.

3. Bypass Short Term Happiness For Long Term Contentment

When a person makes the decision to stop working at jobs that do not bring them fulfillment and begins a career, there are certain tradeoffs that come with this choice. When working a job, an employee is about to clock out and head home as soon as their assigned time has come to a conclusion. Career development is all about trading short term benefits such as going home on time and being able to leave work at work for decisions that positively impact your long term prognosis.

4. Work On Building Relationships and Connections

As the old saying goes, it is not always about what you know, it is about who you know. Being able to network and build connections that last the test of time will go a long way towards developing your career and allowing you to reach your full potential. The cultivating of these types of relationships and connections should happen in a natural manner and does not need to be forced. Your work performance should warrant them.

5. Request Performance and Skill Related Feedback

One of the best ways to improve and develop any skill is to request honest feedback from objective observers. From there, it is your responsibility to implement the suggestions and continue to improve upon your strengths, while eradicating your weaknesses. A common mistake made by employees is the disregarding of their performance reports, so avoid this pitfall by using criticism in a constructive manner.

6. Develop an Agreement About Specific Development Needs

Companies and businesses work best when employers and employees both have a clear understanding of needs to be met in order for an employee to develop. An agreement about specific development actions needs to be reached during the early stages of a career. When the employee and the employer are working in concert, instead of in opposition, this synthesis between each side has a positive effect on the employee’s career development.

7. Create Your Very Own PLDP (Personal Leadership Development Plan)

An individual development plan should include goals for where you plan to be within one year, two years, five years and ten years. Goals should not be set too low, but they should also remain feasible and consider your skill set. Ask yourself these important questions when creating your PLDP: What areas of my current job do I excel in? Which ones should I work on further? What sort of developmental activities should I participate in at my place of work so that I can develop more skills?

8. Converse About Career With Your Manager

If you are truly unhappy with the direction of your career and need to make a change in your developmental cycle, approach your superior and request a career related conversation with them. A quality manager will want to assuage your concerns and help you to chart a more palatable course for development if you have reached a place of true discomfort. Your career development is typically of great interest to your current employer.

9. Seek Out Situations That Stimulate Personal Development

Employees that are self motivated and always seeking out situations to participate in that will serve as a stimulant in their career development advance much farther than those who only concern themselves with doing the bare minimum and heading home as soon as possible. Always remain on the lookout for opportunities to expand your skill set and learn new about new perspectives. Remaining open minded is crucial to career development.

10. Look For Opportunities That Align With Your Goals

Employers consistently offer their employees new and interesting opportunities that go ignored until it is too late. Don’t allow events like these to take place and stunt your career development. Keep a close watch and pay attention to the opportunities that are offered at your place of work. An employee who is goal oriented positions themselves to take advantage of any opportunity to achieve their true career objective. Remain vigilant when it comes to seizing opportunities that will help to make your career dreams a reality.

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