We all know that career development is important. Yet too many of us approach career development in a random, unstructured, and haphazard way.
With that, below you will find 7 strategies you must know to get ahead in today’s workplace.
Whilst these career development strategies will obviously boost your potential, they have the added bonus of improving your personal life by increasing your skill at handling human interaction.
7 Strategies For Career Development You Must Know To Improve Your Skills
1. Plan your career
Most of us want to be promoted but don’t have a plan to get there. Often, this is because we don’t know how to plan.
To get ahead, too many people focus simply on working hard, without a plan to equip them with the skills they would need to take on the next role. That’s what this step is about.
Creating a plan to acquire the skills you need.
Whilst having these skills won’t guarantee you get that promotion, it will at least ensure that you’re in a great position.
2. Manage your status
Just as important as having the right skills to take the next step is ensuring that you’re perceived as someone who is capable of taking on a more challenging role.
In a practical day to day sense, this means:
Be punctual, have an agenda for every meeting you organize and stick to your timings, and never bad mouth anyone.
3. Dress for the job you want
Many workplaces today, particularly technology companies, have a relaxed and casual dress code.
But, that doesn’t mean you should go to the office each day dressed like you just got back from a music festival!
If you want to get promoted then you’ll need to dress for the job you want and not the job you have.
That doesn’t mean wearing a 3-piece suit, but it does mean taking care of your appearance. At a minimum, make sure your office clothes are clean, crease free, and coordinated.
4. Learn how to give a great presentation
Learning how to give a rousing presentation is a skill that will help you in all walks of life, but is particularly useful in business life.
If you’re perceived as being a great speaker, then all things being equal, that could mean the difference between you being promoted and the next guy.
There are many techniques available that can be used to help you improve your presentations. One such technique is called Monroe’s Motivated Sequence, which gives you a series of steps to follow to take your listeners on a journey and keep them fully engaged in your presentation.
You can learn more about Monroe’s Motivated Sequence here.
5. Address your weaknesses
Ask yourself what is it that you really dislike doing in your current job?
There is a good chance that this is an area of weakness.
Maybe you don’t like dealing with figures, or perhaps you don’t like a certain software package. Whatever it is, consider making a plan to address it.
6. Plan in bite sized chunks of time
We’ve already discussed the importance of creating a plan to take your career to the next level.
However, one problem with this is that it’s easy to get disheartened and give up if you don’t see progress straight away.
We’ve all been here, where your initial enthusiasm drops after a couple of months and eventually you give up.
To avoid this, keep your plans focused on the short term:
If you know that a promotion is two years away, focus on what you can improve in the next 3 months.
At the end of the 3 months, even though you haven’t been promoted, celebrate your new found skills and also celebrate the fact you managed to stick to your plan.
7. Be nice
Our final strategy is super simple, be nice to people.
With our determination to get to the next level we can often overlook how our behavior impacts those around us.
By making a conscious effort to be nice to people you’ll be amazed at how much goodwill you create from your colleagues, and how much they will want to help you when they like you.
Almost everyone wants to get ahead in their career, but too few people have an actual plan to help them get there.
By following the 7 strategies outlined in this article for career development you’ll be ahead of the competition, and well on your way to getting that promotion.
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Keep developing yourself by improving you skills and you'll develop your career also.