Career Management – Make Development A Habit

Congratulate yourself on completing your initial CV – well done, that’s a great start. So let’s look at how to build you skills going forward with your Career Management.

Think development ….. every day

Development is the word we use for increasing competence, knowledge or skills. Developing yourself and adding to your skills and expertise is critical when managing your career. It opens up options for you and helps you to become attractive to employers in a fluid job market.

Development is all around you

Many people think development means going on a training course, so if training isn’t available, they think it’s not possible to progress. This isn’t the case though – if you think about most things you have learned in life – how to ride a bike, cook, handle tricky customers, manage a house (the list is endless …) you weren’t taught formally, you learned in other ways – from other people, taught yourself or read instructions.

It’s the same at work. Opportunities for learning and development are all around you – once you start looking for them, you will see them everywhere and wonder why you hadn’t spotted them before. The key is to seek out opportunities and have the confidence to put yourself forward and get involved.

You will probably have heard of transferable skills – skills that can be used in a variety of roles – so remember that when you develop skills, it is likely that you will be able to transfer them to other roles, which will create more options for you in the future.

Let’s take a look at a few ideas –

At work …..

• In your current role, agree clear objectives with your manager and when you have achieved them, ask for more responsibility
• Is there any opportunity for you to ‘act up’ and temporarily take on a more senior role, perhaps to cover holiday or sickness leave?
• Can you find yourself a mentor who has progressed in the way you would like to, who will share their experiences with you? Or can you act as mentor or buddy to someone new?
• Are there any special projects for which you could volunteer?
• Can you study for a qualification while you are at work?
• Build your brand – which aspects of the job do you enjoy the most? Customer service? Organisation? Numeracy? Communicate this to people and they will start to seek you out

Outside of work …..

• Are there are any qualifications or courses you could pursue at a local college?
• Volunteering is a great way to develop new skills and some organisations will offer training (browse, the government’s volunteering website)

Now come up with some ideas of your own …. You just have to think about it!

Now we have thought about some openings for you to pursue, in the next blog, we’re going to look at how you can take a structured approach to your development and construct a personal development plan.