Career Development: Strategies to Improve your Career Growth

Do you wish to take your career to the next level? Here are the best Career Development strategies and plans to deploy for your career growth.

Now, to really enhance your career in a country like Nigeria requires a lot of effort and hard work, and as such many shy away from really advancing as much as they wish they could.

But the good news is that

Here on this post, are simple steps and strategies toward getting the most out of your career and advancing real fast in any discipline you find yourself.

I will try and make this as short as possible, but then lets see the meaning of Career development.

What is Career Development?

Career Development is the lifelong process of managing learning, work, leisure, and transitions in order to move toward a personally determined and evolving preferred future.

Career development are the series of activities or the on-going/lifelong process of developing one’s career.

It starts with what you think, decisions you make  and plans you work out towards developing your career either as a fresh graduate towards developing your skill for getting a Job or as an employed staff seeking to get more from your Job.

The most important thing is that, career development is a lifelong process that requires continues inputs and updates so you can keep getting to your preferred future.

Career Development, A must Decision

The truth is that, career development is no longer a nice thing to do, but a must do if you really get the most out of your life and remain relevant.

One has to obtain new skills, capabilities and experiences, develop both personally and professionally, learn more in their career choice path in order to scale new heights and achieve their goals.

So you can never underestimate the place of career development, it is a must decision everyone must take for career growth.

Strategies for Career Development

When it comes to Career growth and development, we need to broaden our thinking beyond our current jobs, or next promotions.

The reason for this is that, the more one get promoted the fewer jobs become available.

So the need to yet continuing to grow skills and experience should still be a priority for people obtaining value from and adding value to their career.

You can continue to experience career growth by taking the lead on your career development and progress with the strategies listed below.

Note: This strategies is based on the Four Stages of Career Development widely used by most successful organizations and businesses all over the world.

One: Self Assessment 

Self-assessment is a systematic process that is essential for career decision-making and for ongoing professional development.

At various points in time, conducting an inventory of ourselves is necessary to identify performance and skills gaps that could potentially undermine our career or professional development.

Perhaps more important, this inventory should also include the identification of knowledge, talents, strengths and skills, which can be leveraged in the pursuit of your goals for career development.

Generally, From a career development perspective, self-assessment is essentially aimed at identifying and taking note of the following career related characteristics:

  • Skills /Knowledge/Abilities
  • Interests
  • Values
  • Personality traits

You can do this by simply;

  • Listing and organizing your past experiences,
  • Identifying your accomplishments within each experiences
  • Documenting your interests, values, strengths and skills as it relates to the experiences

Having completed the above, the next is to work toward improving and promoting these assets. This is exactly what make you stand out especially in employment decision.

Two: Decision Making

Since you have completed your self assessment, the next thing to do is to decide on or identify a functional role whose duties, tasks, role and responsibilities are a good “fit” with your interests, skills, knowledge and experience.

Furthermore, you should also define an organizational context (industry and company) whose culture is compatible with your personality and provides rewards that will satisfy your value system.

Remember, you have to broaden your thinking. Don’t limit your thoughts at all.

While doing this, you should have the following at heart,

  • which of your key interests, skills and abilities are consistent with typical duties and tasks of the position you are aiming at?
  • Which of your values are likely to be satisfied within the culture and reward system of the industry, company, or service?
  • Which personality traits are consistent with the culture of the organization?
  • What of your knowledge and or experience matches the function, industry, company, or service?

Three: Plan your Career Development

This is where your self – assessment, and career decisions come together in the formulation of a strategic plan that will lead you to the specification of your career development goals.

You can do this by developing a written document that includes the following:

  • Vision –a long term statement of who you will be or become
  • Goals and Objectives – identifying short, medium and long term goals, and associated objectives, whose successful achievement results in the achievement of your long -term career vision.
  • SWOT Analysis – An analysis of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats that may exist with you. There are so many resources available online that will help you conduct your SWOT analysis perfectly.

What you are doing is taking the information you currently have available and create an image of what you would like to have your career look like at some point in the future.

It is only with a vision of a preferred future that you can create goals and plans that will enable you to efficiently and effectively allocate your time and energy.

Four: Implementation

This is the campaign launch stage during which you venture out in career fairs, networking activities, and job interviews and then successfully negotiating for the best offer.

Remember that even the best plans are worthless unless they are well implemented.

So as you keep assessing your self and developing your skill sets, planning and setting goals for your career development, you must set out time to implement them.

Try out new Job offers, learn new skills, apply for higher positions and start new business and aim for something different. This career advice is for you!

Finally, just has stated earlier. Career development is a lifelong venture, so all the steps and strategies outlined above are to be recycle every now and then to ensure you are not in the same spot for too long.

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