5 Career Development Tips to Transform Your Career

Job satisfaction, career progression and stability, increasing income, opportunities to work outside your role—these are just a few of the things that we all want for our careers. But do we know what we need to do to achieve these things? We agonize over writing our resumes and role-play our way into successful interviews, but we often don’t do much to prepare us for the road ahead.

What practical steps can you take to ensure you’re not just toiling away at your desk but doing something toward your career development? The solution is to seek knowledge and experience that will drive and draw you into new places. Each day provides you an opportunity to shape your professional life in the way you want. The more you are in charge of your career, the better you will be positioned to get ahead of your competition and make yourself indispensable in the competitive IT applicant landscape.

To help young IT engineers, especially first-timers, gain maximum success and happiness from the hours they invest in work, I couldn’t think of inviting anyone better than Steven Carroll, Strategic Relationship Manager at LinkedIn. Steven joined me for a meaningful and insightful career conversation.

Know your values

The place to start building career success is within yourself. First, zero in on your values—the core principles that run your life. The more your career aligns with and honors your values, the deeper the sense of fulfillment you will derive from your career. Once you identify your values, reflect on different career scenarios that combine your values, strengths, passions, and skillsets.

Surround yourself with people who align with your core values. Connect with like-minded people who are in sync with your core beliefs and are relevant to career development. Keeping company with those connections will keep you positive and motivated toward problem-solving. You may even want to turn these connections into your own personal “board of directors,” leveraging their support and advice when you have difficult decisions to make about your career.

Have a coachable mindset

In the past, if you were interested in having a successful career, you only had to do a couple of things—go to school, finish college, and get a job. Then most people would have that job for the rest of their lives. However, today’s competitive talent landscape demands more than that—the right mix of attitude and aptitude. By cultivating a lifelong learning attitude and a coachable mindset, you can more easily build a career versus a job.

You can learn a lot by listening, so be willing to accept constructive criticism. Don’t ignore problems, but instead of just complaining, look for ways to fix them. If you are missing a skill or have room to improve any behavioral aspects, take the necessary measures to improve.

Reach out to an Influencer

Whether you’re starting a new career or working hard to make a difference in your role, you can’t do it alone. And why should you even try to drive solo—especially when seasoned pros can suggest practices that will help you avoid unnecessary speed bumps? Don’t be afraid to ask your boss or a senior colleague at work to guide you through common career pitfalls. You can also use social media to reach out to influencers, ask to connect and the engage and comment. You may be surprised how open people are to sharing their insights as you build a connection with them. It’s not really about copying what they have done, because there is no “one-size fits all” blueprint that works for everyone. It’s about being inspired by their journey and carving your own path.

Rethink your job with a focus on purpose

When you are given an assignment, don’t race to a solution. Step back for a moment and think about how you can do it better and smarter. Go beyond the obvious and focus on what small changes you may be able to make in your role that can have a cumulative impact on your company. Your success, in the long run, won’t come from doing a 9-to-5 job or holding a prestigious job title. It depends on your ability to participate in change and be that change.

Find your strength in your crucible moment

Your career journey will be full of highs and lows. Every time you hit a low, a little voice inside your head will whisper that you aren’t smart enough to deal with an adversary. That’s the voice you need to shut out by understanding the concept of “Crucible Moment.” Steven explains a crucible moment as a transformative experience through which you can come to a new or an altered sense of identity. These are times when our character is tested. Steven says these are times of adversity where you can show your strength.

Final Thought: You cannot copy mimic someone else’s success, but you can always design a successful career by being true to your core values. Surround yourself with the right people, sharpen your core skills and seize every opportunity to grow. Investing time in these to-dos will put you in a favorable state for a promotion or be living your dream job when the moment arrives.

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