(By Dan Simmons)
You have a job . . . but what about your career? They’re not exactly the same. While you should definitely be thinking about doing your job to the best of your ability day in and day out, you should also be preparing for the future and developing your career.
In short, you need to stay up-to-date with everything that’s happening in your industry, including technologically. By doing so, you increase your worth and value as an employee and also position yourself strategically for future professional growth.
Below are some of the career development tools that you should consider using in 2011:
- Training—This encompasses all forms of training. It could be in-class training or it could be online training. It doesn’t matter. Identify what areas in which you need improvement or would like to learn more about, and then take the steps necessary to take this training.
- Industry events—Conferences and conventions are not only great ways to increase your knowledge, but the networking opportunities that exist at these events are tremendous. Find out which events are being held this year, and make plans to attend at least one of them.
- Certifications—If you have the chance to earn more certifications within your chosen field of work, then seriously consider earning them. They can help you in your current position, as well as down the road, should you choose to move on.
- Mentoring programs—If your company offers such a program, be sure to take advantage of it. If not, seek someone out who you think would be a good mentor. This type of relationship can help grow your career in a number of different ways.
Which of these components is part of your career development plan for 2011? Do you have a plan? If not, it’s still not too late to put one together. Maintaining the status quo is never acceptable, especially these days.
If you have any questions about this article or about how you can put together a career development plan, contact Dan at (888) 276-6789 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.