It is easy to grow comfortable in your existing position, which can lead feeling stuck, bored, or discontented at work. Committing to expanding your professional knowledge may refresh your career and attract the attention of your current company, and future employers. Professionals that engage in their career growth reap many rewards such as new possibilities, respect from coworkers and management, higher wages, and promotions. In this post, we will look at what career growth is and how you can begin to manage your career for greater success.
Career Growth, What Is It?
Career growth is the focus of obtaining new experience, skills and expertise that will benefit your current job, and the career path that you want to pursue next. In simple terms, a dedication to career growth means planning forward and preparing yourself for a future of greater responsibilities, where you can be a stronger asset to your employer. Professional development may lead to a salary increase or promotion, however, the main goal should be to hone your professional talents, so that you can remain satisfied with your career.
Below are a few ways you can aid your future career growth:
Get Clear on Your Goals
To grow your career, you must first understand where you want to go. Setting specific goals can help you decide the measures to take that will help you get there. You will want to consider both your short-term (1 – 3 years), and long-term goals (5+ years). Once you’ve determined your goals, break them down into a step-by-step action plan to guide your progress. For example, if your objective is to move into a leadership role, you may create an action plan that encompasses steps like taking a leadership course, volunteering to lead future projects, and discussing your career growth with your manager. Keep a record of this action plan and check back frequently to hold yourself accountable.
Seek Out New Opportunities
New opportunities are aplenty within the workplace, and outside of it. Taking on additional tasks in your current position can teach you a wide array of new skills, and help you develop expertise. Consider volunteering to work on projects outside of your typical wheelhouse, and/or with different teams.
Outside of the workplace, the opportunity to be mentored or mentor another person may be very rewarding. In addition, you may wish to seek out volunteer experiences that can aid your professional growth and provide you with the skills and experiences needed to reach your professional goals.
Further Your Education and Training
Depending on your career goals, continuing education may be necessary via enrollment in a formal degree program, course, or workshop. Or you may find yourself pursuing certificates, accreditations or credentials from various educational programs and training institutes. It is important to do your research and develop a strong understanding of the education needed to reach your career goals.
Beyond formal education, you may wish to develop your skills via workshops, courses, webinars, and conferences. Learning from industry leaders can be one of the best ways to stay up to date with industry knowledge, while adding a new tool to your toolkit. A great place to start is Eventbrite, where you can find all sorts of free industry conferences, workshops, and events. In addition, your industry’s professional association may provide members with training opportunities to help them advance in the workplace – which is just one of many good reasons to join one!
You may also choose to develop your skills through self-directed learning. Udemy, Coursera and LinkedIn Learning are amongst the leading platforms that host thousands of courses, which you can complete from home, at your own pace.
Finally, make sure to register for newsletters, articles, and publications – related to your line of work – so you can stay up to date with industry-specific trends and developments.
Touch Base With Your Manager
When it comes to advancing your career, it is necessary that you communicate these goals with your manager. Schedule time for a one-to-one meeting, where you can discuss your professional endeavors. They may start to trust you with increased responsibility if they see that you are willing to take on new tasks. Your manager can also be a valuable source of information about various career paths, training, and skill development opportunities. Remember, it is your manager’s job to help you reach new heights and become a valuable member of the team!
By Alexandra Stancato, Career Advisor, Toronto Film School