In an age of frequent job hopping, where employers demonstrate hesitancy to invest in developing individual employees who are likely to leave before a return on learning is realized, self-career development is an increasingly important component of individuals’ success in the workplace. For ambitious employees, self-development is an effective way, and, in some cases the only way, to hasten progress along the career ladder. Here are following tactics for your career development.
1. Put Strategy First: Employees today must be strategic about what can be gained from each position. Focus on attaining marketable skills, gaining experience with employers whose names stand out on a resume, and, most importantly, building a robust stable of supporters. In the absence of workplace mentorship programs, rising employees must be the architects of their own futures.
One way for professionals to supercharge their networks is to find a mentor. Mentors need not be senior leaders; a mentor can be a co-worker or even a peer. As long at the mentor has teachable skills and a willingness to partake in knowledge transfer and network building, mentorship can have profoundly positive career impacts.
2. Become Your Own CMO: Today’s workers must become their own “Chief Marketing Officer,” constantly analyzing, refining and improving the way they appear in the job market. One of the best approaches to gain a competitive advantage and improve one’s market image is through education.
The importance of an employee’s online presence is underscored by the fact that credentialing is increasingly taking electronic form. Certified electronic transcripts of coursework completed and even electronic versions of diplomas are becoming more prevalent. For example, users who have completed a LinkedIn course can now opt to have the qualification appear on their profiles.
3. Ask for Feedback: It is indisputable that artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other technological advancements will revolutionize the employment market and recast jobs in unforeseen ways. Market trends indicate that employees with soft skills and emotional intelligence will be the most likely to succeed in the changing workplace.
A study revealed that of the eight most important qualities of successful Google employees, STEM ability ranked last after an array of soft skills, including coaching skills, empathy and problem solving ability. Ascertaining strengths and weaknesses in soft skills is a critical first step to making improvements. The best way for individuals to gauge their current proficiency is to ask others for feedback.
Gallup reports that only 15% of millennial employees routinely ask for such feedback consistently. The small percentage who are willing to have difficult conversations are likely to demonstrate the most success in the coming decades.
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