Remaining competitive in the job market isn’t something you want to leave to chance. Instead, it’s best to take ownership of your professional growth, ensuring you’re enhancing your capabilities in a way that boosts your position as a candidate or when seeking out a promotion. Fortunately, several straightforward strategies are highly effective.
Here’s a Look at Five Ways to Enhance Your Professional Growth:
1. Set Well-Defined Goals
Creating well-defined goals gives you some critical direction for your career, making it easier to develop an actionable plan. Ideally, you want to eliminate all ambiguity when selecting targets. Associating a goal with metrics and a timeline helps you know precisely where you need to head, as well as defines success.
For example, instead of setting “acquire a new skill” as a goal, choose the exact skill you want to add to your repertoire and when you’d like to have it. Similarly, instead of stating that you want to “increase your sales figures,” go with a more defined alternative, such as “increase sales by 15 percent in the next six months.” That gives you a clearer objective, increasing your odds of reaching the target.
2. Focus on the Right Skills
When you’re looking for skills to add to your resume, you want to select the ones that lead to the most value. There are several approaches that make this simpler.
First, you can review the skills associated with the next higher position on your career path and work toward the ones you don’t currently possess. Second, you can identify skill gaps that are present in your current team and workplace or that exist in the field as a whole. Finally, you can identify skills that are destined to become desirable based on advances in your industry, creating an opportunity to get ahead of the curve.
3. Create a Growth Timeline
As mentioned previously, associating your goals with a timeline is typically best. When you have a deadline, it can act as a source of motivation and often makes you more inclined to focus.
However, it’s wise to go further than merely selecting an end date. Break down each goal into a series of micro-goals, with those representing actionable steps. Then, associate each one with a deadline, giving you an overall growth timeline to follow.
4. Look for Stretch Assignments
Stretch assignments are projects in your workplace that involve a skill you’ve yet to fully hone or develop, turning them into learning opportunities. By seeking them out, you’re allowing yourself to grow professionally in a way that’s relevant to your current organization while also potentially helping you qualify for higher-level roles.
As you explore your options, pay particular attention to those that involve leadership. Leadership skills are universally valuable, and they become critical as you move up the career ladder, so it’s wise to start developing them as soon as possible.
5. Track Your Progress and Reevaluate Often
As you enhance your capabilities, make sure to track your progress. By noting your achievements, it’s far easier to stay motivated. Then, reevaluate your current plan and make adjustments when the need arises. At times, the skills you want to target may shift as your industry or role changes, so it’s wise to remain agile and ensure your professional growth keeps you moving in the right direction.
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If you’d like to learn more about how to enhance professional growth or are interested in finding a new career-boosting job, Selectek wants to hear from you. Contact us and speak with one of our recruiters today.