Career development is an important factor in any job. Whether you are looking to work your way up to CFO or continuing your journey up the career ladder. Career development is important to help you continually progress. 

Whilst it may often seem that the responsibility of your career development falls on your employer. There are different strategies you can practice which help with career progression. If you are feeling stuck in your job or looking for ways to progress with your career, take a look at these different strategies on how you can kickstart your career development.  

1. Find a mentor

Mentoring can be a great way to gain advice and support for your career. Mentoring is a form of support for the growth and development of the mentee. The role of the mentor is typically taken up by someone who is more senior than you. As a result they can advise you based on their own experience. This could be within your current organisation or externally. Each provide you with their own benefits and will help to assist you with reaching your career goals. Mentoring is a great way to gain high-level advice and guidance for long-term development. It is beneficial for both the mentor and the mentee.  

2. Build your internal and external networks 

Developing and building your network is always beneficial to your career progression. This is important both internally within the company as well as externally. To build your internal networks try and get to know other employees from different teams within the organisation. This may be through a company event or organising a coffee meeting. There are many ways on how you can build up your external network. From using social networks such as LinkedIn to reaching out to people that are in similar job roles to you, building your network up can be a great way to find out about new opportunities.  

3. Read career development books 

Career development books offer a variety of benefits. Not only do they provide you with the opportunity to gain career advice but they are a great way to help develop your verbal and written communication. Additionally, they can also be a great motivational tool and inspire you to keep working towards your goals. With a vast number of career-development books out there, there is something for everyone.  

Some of our favourites include: 

The Chimp Paradox 

The Squiggly Career 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People 

Lean In 

4. Upskill strategically 

Taking on new and alternative projects from outside your original day-to-day duties is a great way to develop new experiences and skills. By putting yourself forward for these alternative jobs will not only provide you with new experiences but it will help you to work with new teams, building your personal network.  

To find different projects that you could assist with, organise a meeting with you boss and share your interest in taking on additional responsibilities. However, make sure that you don’t overwork yourself or take on too many projects at any one time.   

Furthermore, courses are another way that can help you to upskill. Whether these are through your company, formal courses outside the workplace. Online courses are also a great way to help you to expand your knowledge. LinkedIn offer a range of different courses through their LinkedIn Learning and covering a variety of different topics.  

5. Create a long-term plan 

Planning is a crucial step in the journey to success. The famous quote by Benjamin Franklin outlines this well “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. Developing a long-term career plan can help you to monitor and assess how you are going to reach your goal or desired outcome. Whilst this plan is most likely to continually change, as no career path is linear (which we have seen over the past year), having a plan of action can help you to visualise and work towards your end goal. You may begin to write this down or have a conversation with your mentor or line manager who can help you decide where you want to get to.  

Focusing on your career development is important for progression within your professional life. Not only will it help you to work towards and achieve your career goals, but it can also provide you with a form or motivation. Taking on additional responsibilities or growing your network are just some of the ways to develop within your career. Asking for advice and feedback from your line manager or an external source are also great ways on how you can continue to progress.