Planning and developing your career should be a lifelong activity. It should not be limited to your last few months in college or your first year on the job. It is vital to make career planning a regular activity because you are likely to change careers several times before retirement. The following ideas that will help you to build a successful career.
Engage in Continuous Learning
To have an outstanding career, you must develop the habit of continuous lifelong learning. Keep doing research into various aspects of your field and acquire more skills. If you discover that you are at a disadvantage because you lack a particular skill, what should you do? Consider taking online classes. Online learning is available for almost any professional course, either for free or at an affordable price. So instead of bemoaning your lack of skills, search for a well designed online course and acquire the knowledge and skills you need to advance your career.
Be Proactive: Make a Pivot Plan
A well written career plan will lead to faster career growth. Start with a scenario that helps you to define what your ideal job, work environment and career path should be. Remember that it is very unlikely that you will leave your current job if you don’t state specifically what a better one should look like. A brainstorming session will help you to state: what you do extremely well, the kind of skills you want to acquire, and the type of job tasks that excite you. Then search for jobs that fit your ideal scenario. In the process, you will also discover emerging areas within or outside your field that will interest you. Thereafter, create an action plan to acquire the needed skills and get your ideal job.
Join a Company That Will Experience Rapid Growth
When you are part of a company that is breaking new grounds and expanding rapidly, your career will automatically be growing without much effort. As a company grows, it will discard old systems and technology and acquire or develop new ones. This kind of transition provides an excellent environment for building and sustaining an entrepreneurial mindset. You will easily acquire the skills needed to start a successful company or to become a hot candidate for a more lucrative job. So join a company that is more likely to double or triple in size over the next few years.
Make Real Impact on Company Performance
Great careers are built by people who improve their company’s performance. The conventional career path that takes you up the corporate ladder from entry level to top management is no longer applicable in many fields. Rapid changes in technology have caused so many job positions to cease to exist after a couple of years. So the best way to rise to great heights in your career is to deliver such amazing results on your present job that you will be allowed to take on a higher paying job at your company or elsewhere.
Maintain an Active LinkedIn Profile
Many career coaches and recruitment consultants now use LinkedIn as the primary channel to locate their best job candidates. Instead of trying to write the most attractive resume or CV, you should get active on LinkedIn. Update your profile regularly and add your most recent credentials and corporate achievements in the last few months. In fact, you should make it a duty to stay in touch with your LinkedIn network every week. You will be in constant contact with leaders of thought in your field and create posts that will showcase your unique experiences and achievements in your field.