Friday, October 18, 2013

Career Development Is Part of a Successful Career

If you want to have a successful career the first thing you need to realize is that it is not going to happen overnight. It isn’t even going to happen in a few months. And if it happens in only a couple years, you are very lucky. The truth is, developing a successful career is an ongoing thing. It takes a lot of hard work, but it is worth the time and effort.

Part of getting the career that you want is career development. And the first step in career development is figuring out what career you really want to have. If you haven’t gotten that far yet, take a look at our Choosing a Career series. You can work your way through the steps and figure out what kind of career is best for you personally. Remember that if you are not in the right career, you likely will not last long. And even if you do manage to last, you likely won’t be very happy.

The next step in career development is goals. What are your goals? Do you have goals? I assume you do but you might be surprised that some don’t have good goals set out for themselves. Steer clear from the, “I want to be the best software developer in my field,” type of goals. That isn’t specific. Try to set out a goal that is more specific to the place you are at right now. How about something like, “I want to win the Software Developer of the Year award at my company” instead? That gives you something specific to work towards and it gives you a timeline as well. You will also likely have some very specific ways to reaching that goal.

If you want to be successful in your career you should always be learning. Career development is part of that. Goals are part of that. When you have a specific plan with specific goals to guide your actions you are much more likely to progress in your career. You will find that people notice your actions and that you will get more challenging tasks to do. You will have more opportunities to learn and you will have the chance to work with some great people.

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