If you’re like most professionals, you’ve probably already started making New Year’s career goals for 2019. You may have a list of resolutions that you’d like to accomplish and ideas for how to complete your objectives, and that’s great. But have you thought about how to enhance your career development in the New Year? Here’s some advice…
How to enhance your career development in the New Year
The first step to enhancing your career development in the New Year is to assess where you are right now. What is your current self-concept: your personality type, interests, career values, skills, abilities, and work style? And, where is your career: what knowledge or skills are required for your next job opportunity; what opportunities for growth are there; what organizations do you want to work for? By figuring out who you are and where you are in your career, you can start determining the next steps in your career development process.
To perform a comprehensive self-assessment:
- Take a personality assessment test either from the American Psychological Association or using Myers Briggs.
- Highlight your accomplishments including objectives you’ve reached, goals you’ve hit, and recognition you’ve received.
- Be honest and critical of yourself. Don’t be afraid to point out areas where you need to improve as well as skills and abilities you have in abundance.
- Ask a mentor or coworker for feedback on your work style and abilities. They might be able to give you a clearer view.
- Use the feedback on your employee evaluation to get a better idea of the big and small picture of your career.
Set Your New Goals
If you want to determine how to enhance your career development in the New Year, then you have to determine your goals. Once you know where you are now, you can start figuring out where you want to be in your career in the near and far future. The key is to set your goals based on your self-assessment and career assessment. The more you can create goals based on both your personal and professional aspirations, the better.
Before setting your goals, make sure you:
- Inventory your skills at work and outside of work and figure out which skills you enjoy using the most.
- Research the jobs and companies that most interest you and figure out what you need to accomplish to get there.
- Talk to friends, family, coworkers, and mentors to learn more about other jobs and career options.
Once you know who you are, what is most important to you, and what you want, you can set goals that match your values, skills, and dreams for the future.
Focus on the Fundamentals
If you really want to enhance your career development in 2019, then don’t get lost in the weeds. Instead, focus on the fundamental skills and knowledge that will be most valuable to your career. Invest time and money into learning new things and deepening your area of expertise. You can learn by reading books, watching TED talks, or subscribing to blogs. Or you can take it further and go back to school to earn your EMBA to really enhance your skillset.
Remember the UC Berkeley 70-20-10 Rule when it comes to improving your skills and knowledge:
- 70% of your skills should come from on-the-job activities and action-learning. This means getting hands-on experience through project management, collaboration, job shadowing, etc.
- 20% of your skills should come from other people through mentoring, community service, coaching, coworkers, etc.
- 10% of your skills should come from the classroom through training, coursework, seminars, conferences, and more.
Build Your Reputation
Career development doesn’t happen in isolation. Your network is a valuable piece of it. So, if you’re wondering how to enhance your career development in the New Year, then you should look to expanding your network and building your reputation. You can do this in a variety of ways.
- Join a professional association or attend industry conferences to meet more individuals in your prospective field, gather information, and demonstrate your strengths and abilities.
- Find a mentor either inside or outside of your company who can be a great source of information and career guidance. This will be your go-to person for achieving the success you seek.
- Demonstrate your thought leadership by attending conferences, speaking, or writing articles/blogs. You want to be known as a professional with answers.
When it comes to career development, you’re allowed to be selfish. Achieving your ultimate career aspirations is a long, winding road that has many bumps and detours along the way. In 2019, if you want to enhance your career beyond where you are now, you need to take the time to focus on you.