Whether you want to learn a new skill or become an expert in your field, we have put together four clear steps that you can follow to support your career development and achieve your career goals.
What is career development?
Career development is the process of improving your skills and knowledge to progress in your chosen career. Having a clear plan and assessing your strengths and weaknesses can guide you in areas that need improvement and shape your decision-making around how to advance further. Career development can also involve exploring other roles and taking on new opportunities that suit your personality, skills, and interests which can lead to a complete career change.
How to advance in your career
Below we outline four steps to help your career development:
1. Set clear and achievable career goals
A career goal is an aim which helps you in your career development. Examples of a career goal include:
- Master a new skill
- Earn a qualification
- Achieve industry certification
- Become an expert in your chosen field
- Gain work experience in a large company
Having clear, realistically achievable and defined career goals can boost your motivation and help you to track progression. You can break down your goals into a step-by-step action plan, outlining where you should begin and how to progress to reach your end goal. For example, if your goal is to learn a new technology, your first step could be to enrol in classes that teach the technology you are interested in.
Keeping track of your progression and reviewing your progress regularly can help in times of doubt and frustration as it enables you to remain committed to achieving your targets.
2. Discuss goals with your supervisor
The company you work for should want you to develop your skills as it increases your value to the business. Therefore, letting your supervisor know your career ambitions can allow them to present you with new challenges and opportunities that enable you to expand your skills or experience. For example, they can place you on training courses and provide you with connections that would support you in reaching your career aspiration
3. Get active in searching for new opportunities
Whilst it is your supervisor’s job to foster your career development and professional growth, it’s also important to actively look for new opportunities yourself. There are plenty of ways to gain specialist knowledge, such as:
- Attending webinars
- Going to conventions
- Taking classes
- Reading books and magazines
- Joining forums and groups
- Attending workshops
- Downloading guides
Being proactive in your own professional development will help you to advance in your career and connect with others who are on the same journey or have already achieved what you have set out to accomplish.
4. Find a mentor
On top of seeking out new opportunities, it can be of great value to have a mentor and learn from others. Mentors can provide guidance, advice and help you to brush up on certain areas you may find challenging. It’s also a good way to put your questions to someone who is friendly and has the knowledge you need. So, don’t be shy in asking your supervisor or colleagues for advice and see whether they can recommend a good mentor.
Last updated on 9 May 2022Share this article