On the priority list of most of us living in the twenty first century is a career which is so important that it almost defines who we are and determines our drive and motivations in life. The importance of having and building a career to humans is clearly demonstrated in our insistence on attaching professional identity to our names. When we take a closer look, we come to see that having a successful career means more to us than the status attached to it. We want to succeed at what we do because it usually brings a deep feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction that nothing else can give. So I guess you are not reading this just because you want to find our how your paycheck can increase.
In order to build a career, especially a successful one, there are certain career development tips that must be understood along side the willingness to pay the price necessary. The path to a successful career is definitely not an easy one. There are many challenges along the way and sometimes, it could feel frustrating. However, we have put together some interesting and effective career building tips to help you achieve your dreams in your chosen field.
Be definite; have a clear vision
A vision is like the ultimate picture of what you aim to achieve. It is the end picture of that building you have started. Just like one needs a picture of the kind of house they want to build even before the blue print is developed, you need a vision before you start on. If you already started without making that consideration, you can still get some clarity now, before moving on.
The career building process is a tedious one and needs a lot of focus to stay on track. That is one thing a vision helps you achieve; FOCUS. It is easy, as one goes along, to be distracted by options and possibilities. But those who are after building a career and have a clarity of vision will be able to make the right choices when options start coming up.
The vision is also going to serve as a motivation to go on when things do not go according to plan. And believe me, there will be times when things do not go the way you had wanted or even planned for them to go. But if you have a definite and clear vision of where you want to be at the end of your career, then you can brush aside the temptation to give up and at least muster enough courage and determination to go on. Overall, the clearer your vision, the better off you will be at chasing your dreams and reaching higher heights in that career.
While in college, youths look forward to the career of their dream, almost like it will only come at the end of their lives. Those who are in their first year think they have a lot of time. Before they realize it, the time of formal studies is over and they still have no experience to their name. And companies or businesses these days find it difficult hiring people just based on theoretical knowledge. If you are already sure of the career you would like to get into, then now is the time to start making necessary moves. Get experience through internships and voluntary service so that lack of practicality does not become the reason why you cannot immediately pick up a job when you leave school. Now is the time to start taking action.
For those who are already in the field, nothing that can be done today should be pushed to tomorrow, and especially not simply because of convenience. Building a career takes daily efforts to make achievements that lead to promotions. Everyday counts only if you are determined to make it count. If you have a job and have been blessed enough to get into the career of your choice, then now is the time to take serious your daily work and put in all you have. Procrastinating does not take responsibilities of today away. It only pushes them forward and piles up the work for you. Eventually you are going to do what you have to do. But it may not really count towards career building because it will be extremely difficult to put your best into it. The more committed you are to daily tasks, the earlier you build your career and take it to higher levels.
State your goal and keep them in view
In building a successful carrier and applying carrier development skills, you need goals. Like a vision, goals help us keep our focus on the things that are really important to us. Goals set a target with a time frame for its accomplishment. It is not enough to simply have goals in mind. It is easier to achieve them when you write them down and actually keep them in view. If your goal is to get to a certain level of your career in three years, then you can assess your effectiveness in pursuing that goal from time to time.
Having definite goals that make attainment easier is one of those career building tips without which one can hardly make it through successfully. So considering the three year achievement plan, you can get back to what you have written after the first and second years to consider how far gone you are into achieving your goals. Then it is easier to tell if you have drifted apart or lost focus so that everything can be brought back on track in order to meet the set goals. Having definite goal in order to build a career is essential to success.
Develop a plan to help you Follow up on goals
Goals do not really amount to much without plans. After setting goals to help build a career, we need plans that serve as a road map to achieving those goals. Depending on your field or career choice, plans can be in daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly terms. There are long term and short term plans. It is preferable to start out by determining long term plans, then from those you can come up with short term plans. So you know exactly what is next on the plan as you move from one rung of the career building ladder to the next.
Be diligent and persistent
It may be easy to get a job and start building a career. But many people find it terribly difficult to pull through because of the challenges that come at each stage. The average American youth transitioning from school to work already has a large debt to his or her name, is holding more than one job which may not even be related and has their own personal day to day expenses to take care of. It is not going to be long before the excitement of finding a job turns into a feeling of frustration at how challenging it is to meet up with life’s pressures. But the career may have just begun, and there is more coming, for which you ought to be very prepared.
You see those men and ladies with six figure paychecks and expensive outfits very often and you wonder if things were ever as difficult for them as they are for you. When you have the chance to hear some of them talk on TV, it does not seem like they have gone through half of what you are going through to get to where they are now. They try to be nice and avoid displaying the rough side of their success story. Don’t be fooled into thinking you are alone, because you are not. No, not at all.
Two things that make the connection between where you are on the career ladder and where you want to be are diligence and persistence. The way up is the diligent way. I know from time to time, you will hear detractors propose seductive ideas, promising an easier way to achieve what every genuine person has achieved through persistence and diligence. If you fall prey to such people, you are only going to waste time. A successful career is always born out of one’s ability to stay diligent and persist in the face of difficulties and oppositions. If you forget other career development tips, do not forget this. When you get to the top, you will realize that it was worth it.
Dedication and hard work
The level to which you are going to build your career will invariably be determined by your level of determination and hard work. You could learn all the career development skills you want to in school, but without putting in the dedication and hard work, it all profits you nothing. In building a successful career, hard work is what counts. But your level of dedication is also going to affect your level of hard work.
If you had the chance to talk to many highly effective people, who are succeeding in their careers and ask them what the secret to their success is, you are more likely to hear them mention dedication and hard work than anything else. You can even see proof of their dedication and determination to work hard just by watching them. For example, successful people usually come wake up earlier, get to the office earlier and stay back when all others can’t even wait for closing time to return home. These are people who are willing to put in the extra effort needed to improve their skills and deliver better results. If you desire to join thus league, you must be prepared to put in the dedication they are putting in. even building career development skills requires dedication and hard work to get the expected results.
Start Networking as early as possible
Not many people realize how important networking is to the development of one’s career. Besides that, even those who are aware of its strategic importance to career development do not always want to get into the process. It could sometimes be challenging to meet people you have never known before, let alone open up to them and build a relationship based on your career. No matter how challenging it may be to network, the benefits it offers to building your career are far more valuable.
A great deal of expertise is required to successfully move from one stage of career development to the next. Some aspects of that expertise can only be gotten from experience. In networking, you meet people who have the experience you should have gone through and some very important nuggets that will make it easier for you to progress from one stage of your career to the next.
One last thing you should bear in mind about networking is that the larger its size, the more benefits you can get from it. With social media and modern ways of meeting and relating with people today, it is far easier to network now than was the case about two decades ago. Building a network takes time, effort and patience. This simply means you cannot do it all in a day. But the earlier you start, the better and easier things will be for you. Besides, you may be able to climb the corporate ladder about two times faster by simply being connected to the right people.
Keep the balance between work and life
Sometimes, in pursuing success in one’s career, we could be so caught up with work that there is just a very fine line left to make the difference between career, family and life. If you make your life all about work and building a career, you are not going to live long enough to eat the fruits of your labor. It takes a balanced life to build a career. Every young person just starting out in building their career will sooner or later realize how much they need that balance to make things work.
We all start with a lot of passion and zeal for our dreams and expectations that it simply consumes us totally, causing the average person to drift away to one extreme of the pendulum. But before long, the same person realizes how their desire to build a successful career is affecting more important things like his or her health and relationship with loved ones in a negative way. The lesson then becomes clear. There needs to be a balance between career and life in order to have the expected results.
Have some confidence in yourself, you’ll need it
From time to time, the challenges that come up will force you to doubt your abilities. As you move up to the top of your career ladder, each stage is going to require a different level of commitment. Many times, you will have to shift gears and bring out another side of yourself you may have never known before. But you must keep that confidence with which you started. The very fact that you decided to get into that field and build a career in it is proof that you believed you could do.
Don’t allow doubts now because of challenges. Consider them as a classroom test. It does not come to prove that you don’t have what it takes. It comes to show you that you have what it takes. This reminds me of my days in school. After studying day and night for an exam and acquiring all the necessary knowledge to make it, that feeling of not being fit or prepared just always seems to come moments before I get into the hall. It is not until I take my seat and start writing that I realize everything I needed for the exam had been buried in me all that time. It is those who refuse to give in or give up in the face of pressure who are molded and prepared by it. Whatever else you loose, if you really want to build a career, don’t loose confidence in yourself.
Know and concentrate on your strengths
It takes knowing your strengths to keep self confidence. On the other hand, it takes knowing your weaknesses and majoring on them to loose self confidence. Either ways, how much of your strengths you know will sooner or later affect your ability to build and develop your career. Concentrate on them and build them so that you are even stronger in that area. Career development skill are usually related to one’s ability to focus on their strengths instead of being exasperated by their weaknesses.
Don’t run ahead of yourself
With constant motivation to realize your dreams, especially while looking at those who have succeeded, it is easy to try moving at a faster pace than you are actually prepared to handle. It has to be one step at a time. In order to build a career, one needs to understand the principle of process and let it run its full course. Every stage along the path to a Successful career comes with its own level of pressure which is necessary to prepare you for the next level. Young people especially want to jump from the bottom to the top a fast as they can. But sooner or later they find that though it is possible to skip stages on one’s way to the top, it is not profitable.
By all means, keep you passion
I started building an arts portfolio a while ago. I love pencil drawing and I am passionate about it. But for some time, I did not exactly get the response I had expected. The results of my own efforts were also not what is had wanted them to be so I lost a little bit of motivation. Thank God I quickly reminded myself that those who are great today had to go through the phase where passion for their profession or career was put to the test. This is one of the most important career building tips. What if you start something personal like I did and no one seems interested initially? Are you going to let your passion for what you have die? If you must make it to the top, you must be driven by passion. Career development skills are more easily acquired when people keep their passion for what they do burning.
Remember it is not always about the money
Increase in financial earnings is one of the benefits of building a successful career. But it does not need to be one of your motivations. Financial sacrifices are usually made by those who are top in their fields in their fields now. If you intend to become an entrepreneur for example, you may have to go for months or even years without a proper salary, just so that you can satisfy your team of workers and keep them. If you make the whole things about money, in a short time, if the money does not seem to be coming in the way you expected, you may just give up. It is important to have motivations behind building a career that are bigger than your desire for money.
Be flexible and try other things when you can
Most career building tips are usually about focusing on a particular career path. But sometimes we miss out on other things that could have been better options for us because we are holding so tightly to one career option. Some people figure out early enough what that one thing is that they want to do and they commit themselves to it. But others are multi-talented. So they cannot really stick with one thing until they have tried others out. If you have about three or more things you are good at and feel that you cannot simultaneously build careers in all of them, especially because you may not have the time to learn all the career development skills required, you can feel free to try them all and make a choice.
In order to build a great career, one has to put in all the required time and effort. Career development skills too are not easy to follow but they are worth the effort. There are several career building tips not mentioned here but I think these are great to start with.