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Manage your professional development for career success

Whether starting a new job or continuing at your current position, it is beneficial to know how to outline and execute personal growth in the workplace. Here is some expert advice for employees and executives about mapping their career development.


Do

Do have a career plan

Having a five-year plan is standard; however, employees should focus and optimize their career plan for the next one to two years. Taking ownership of career development and goals leads to higher engagement and productivity at all levels. Additionally, career plans are also beneficial for employers. A strong talent management infrastructure gathers information from each employee about their career aspirations and uses that information received to recommend classes, content and mentors suited to an individual's goals and objectives.

Do keep an updated profile

In order to stand out in an ever-growing talent market, it is imperative that employees keep their profile up-to-date. Organizations turn to profiles for information such as expertise, experience, interests, talents and skills. Updated profiles are also helpful for your current employer as it indicates the contributions you have made during your career. Utilizing a people development platform that is built on three components: employee profiles, employee processes and employee engagement, can better equip employees to deliver more advanced and efficient results.

Do work for the right person

Work for someone from whom you want to learn. Working for someone who is intelligent and confident in his or her role provides employees with an environment conducive for learning and being challenged. Mentorship programs can aid in achieving short-term objectives and longer-term career goals.

Do communicate with your manager

The ability to talk, as well as listen, to the thoughts and advice of a manager is an important skill. Lack of communication is one of the greatest failures in the employee-executive relationship. It is important to maintain an ongoing conversation and collaboration with your manager; in turn, producing better results.

Do become a black belt

Become an expert in your field. Know which skills are beneficial and master them. Spreading your talents too thinly impact your effectiveness. Social performance tools, such as impressions and badges, can provide employers with ratings and scores; therefore, making it known in your people network when you’ve become an expert. Look for these tools at your current place of work.


Don't

Do not resist change

Knowing when to make a change is an art and requires a fair amount of willpower to make it happen. A change of position, career, location or company is often the best thing for professional growth. Referring back to your career plan can help determine if a move will align with your goals.

Do not be afraid to take risks

Without taking risks, it is impossible to learn from experiences. Nothing ventured, nothing gained; it’s a simple as that. Exploration, even if it leads to mistakes, can provide relevant insight and knowledge that would not have been learned had you played it safe.

Do not just consume

Make a point of sharing your skills, experiences and knowledge with others. Be a producer of knowledge and seize the opportunity to provide insight to colleagues.

Do not exclude others

Don’t put yourself on an island to the exclusion of others. It is good to encourage collaboration among and across teams. Collaboration has the power to drive overall engagement and job satisfaction. Tools such as chats, activity streams and blogs all can be used to easily encourage a collaborative work environment.

Do not succumb to boredom

It is never, under any circumstances, acceptable to become bored or disengaged. You will expect little from your career if you accept boredom without trying to make a change. Expect the most from your career by embracing new challenges and adventures.


Summary
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Taking control of your career and its path will be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Understanding your responsibilities, leveraging resources and collaborating with teammates, will not only make you happy in your career; you’ll be a better employee.
 


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Photo Credits: © vadymvdrobot - Fotolia.com; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas - Fotolia.com

Amar DhaliwalSenior Vice President, Client Success

Amar Dhaliwal has more than 15 years of Human Capital Management (HCM) and enterprise software experience, and a track record of delivering innovation and a strong customer focus. Prior to his technology career, Dhaliwal worked for a number of g...

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