November 21, 2022

The Basics of Career Development: National Career Development Month

November is known for the start of the holiday season, great food, and cold weather. What many people don’t know is that it’s also career development month! With 2022 coming to an end, many professionals are evaluating their current positions and thinking “what’s next?” Whether you are happy in your current position, looking for a new opportunity, or feeling stagnant, everyone has opportunities to continue or kick-off their career development.  

 

Why is career development important?

We spend so much of our time in life working. Careerdevelopment has a lot to do with figuring out who you are, what you like, andwhat you value. A lot of people say your 20s are for figuring all of this outbut then when you get to your 30s it could all change. There are a lot offactors that go into career development whether it is compensation, the phaseof your life, your interests and more. It is important to work in a field whereyou feel fulfilled and can see yourself growing personally and professionallyin the future. You must ask yourself, does this align with who I am, and doesthis fill  all of my buckets?

 

What are the steps someone shouldmake to start a career development plan?

The first step of career development is research. Whenyou’re researching, it is important to look at your values, what location youwant to be in, and what you enjoy. You also might consider what things don’tyou enjoy; do you enjoy working behind the scenes or on the front line, how farare you willing to commute, do you need education or certification for yourfield, and more.

One of the best ways to develop your career is networking.Having a solid network of professionals is important because you can learn frompeers about different skills and new career opportunities around you. Having alarge network on LinkedIn can be a great tool to have because you can easilymessage connections to ask a question and pick their brain. Most of the time,people want to help others succeed so they’ll message you, hop on a call, oreven recommend different career opportunities to you.

If there is a company you want to work for, findingemployees of the company and connecting with them is a great way to expand youropportunities. This gets your profile in front of them, opens the door tomessaging them, and can lead to more connections as your network gets bigger.

 

How can someone who is new in their career or looking totransition into a new career continue their career development?

Cast a wide net when searching for a new career. Everythingtakes time and you must learn to be patient with the process. This is a greattime to learn more about yourself and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

For those transitioning careers later into theirprofessional life, it's important to also realize that the world we live inisn’t the same world that many remember when they entered the workforce 10years ago. Technology has become a huge part of everyone's day-to-day life. Alot of jobs are technology-heavy and requires people to be on their phones andcomputers all the time. The landscape of how we utilize technology has created morecompetition, anxiety about the job search, and distraction. Learning technologyacross the board is beneficial to the development of individuals which in turnis beneficial to a company as a whole.

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