How to accelerate your career development

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Career development is something that every company and many employees talk about but few do to a high level. While many companies have initiatives in place to allow you to take on the job training it often lacks the targeted approach required to take you to your next level. Career development is something you need to take ownership of and drive forward with passion to ensure you achieve it. We have a number of tips to help ensure you do.

Technology is now key to every aspect of life. When I was younger I remember there were those who liked using technology and those who didn’t. It was not seen as strange to not have any social media presence, or to enjoy using a pen and paper, or to have a feature phone instead of a smartphone. Yet times change. Today having a smartphone is essential in business. It means you are contactable at all times, it means you are up to date on changes that are taking place in your projects and in your emails, it means you are up to date with changes taking place in the world. More than that technology is now important in how we communicate with others, how we plan our week, how we run projects and how we manage teams. Not using technology means you are likely not using the most efficient approach. If you are someone who has not embraced technology in the past, change that and change it fast.

The good news is that technology isn’t as intimidating as it once was. In the past technology was strange and hard to use. Now companies are making tech so intuitive that children can operate them. The best thing is though, the companies want you to be able to use them, so they are running numerous training sessions for free. It has never been easier to become a tech whiz.

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To enhance your career development you need to change your view of learning. In the past, a typical life cycle was school, work, retirement. Now it is school, work, school, work, school, work. Life long learning has become the norm and you must be willing to constantly adapt your skill set to stay ahead of the rest. Stop looking at learning as something you did before or even something you would need to take a career break for. Identify courses that could help your career and start talking to your employer. They may be able to give you one day a week off to focus on your studies or allow flexible hours so that you can make some allowances for class times. In general, though online learning has revolutionized the learning cycle and you need to get on board.

Some things that will always be required and don’t change are our core competencies. These are the soft skills that are not based on the newest technology or the latest agile approach. Communication, emotional intelligence, attitude are things that every company is looking for and find it very hard to train into staff. If you have these skills you need to highlight them more. If you don’t, you need to work on them. 

The final piece of advice I would like to give is to consider a mentor. Trying to find your way in the modern work environment and if you have someone who is ahead of you and who can help navigate it can be a huge plus. Having a mentor can help you to identify objectives and achieve them. The only payment most require is that when you are in their position you pay it forward as well.

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