No matter what your job or career, it’s always a good idea to be thinking about where you want to be or what you want to be doing next. While setting ambitious goals such as getting a new job, a promotion or a pay rise are all great, it’s smaller professional development goals which will get you one step closer.
Here are 8 smaller Professional Development Goals to work towards this year:
1. Learn a new skill
You might think you know everything you need to know for the job role that you have, but there is always more to learn. Think about the skills gap between you and your manager, are there any skills which would put you ahead of your peers? Is there a skill which would help you in the job that you’re doing? Or for the job that you want? Be proactive and find out what you have to do to learn that skill and put an action plan in place.
2. Start networking
Whether you love it or hate it, networking is vital for career growth. Networking is about building and maintaining mutually beneficial working relationships. Your network offers you a pool of people from which you can exchange ideas, advice and support. A strong network and good networking skills can help you elevate your profile, build a great reputation and can open up a whole world of opportunities to you.
3. Read more
Often underestimated and overlooked, the impact that reading can have on your career is huge. The average CEO reads 60 books a year and 88% of financially successful people read at least 30 mins per day. The benefits of reading include greater vocabulary, improved writing skills, reduced stress and enhanced analytical skills. Choosing books that relate to your career will obviously be even more helpful and will keep you up to date with industry trends, possibly even putting you ahead of your peers.
4. Improve your work life balance
Creating a healthy work life balance is essential to leading a happy and productive lifestyle, it can have positive effects on your wellbeing and even your work. Build realistic boundaries between work and your personal life, whether that’s sticking to an 8-hour working day, not taking work home or by fighting the impulse to check work emails on your day off. Employing these tactics will help prevent burn out and you’ll probably find you get more done when you are at work. Work smarter, not harder.
5. Challenge yourself
Sometimes people underestimate themselves. A lack of confidence or belief in your own abilities and an underlying fear of failure can hold you back. When you challenge yourself, and step out of your comfort zone you will find that you can do what you thought you couldn’t. The more you challenge yourself at work the more you will learn and grow. Don’t be afraid of failure, you will learn from mistakes!
6. Work on your weaknesses
Professional development is not all about working on your strengths. Identifying your weaknesses and working on them can be one of the best things you can do for your career. No one is perfect, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try.
7. Get organised
Getting organised feels good. Creating a clear workspace by decluttering both your physical digital desktops can reduce stress and increase productivity. Remove the distractions and you can spend more time on important tasks, less time looking for things.
8. Communicate better
Communicating effectively will help you in every aspect of your life from professional to personal. Good communication enables you to relate well to your superiors, colleagues, customers and clients, expanding the types of opportunities available to you. Our training courses work on improving all aspects of communication including; presentation skills, interpersonal skills and leadership skills so if you make this your goal for 2019 we’re here to help!
When thinking about your long-term career ambitions remember to make your professional development goals SMART. That’s specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Smaller targets such as the ones listed above give you an action, something to actually do that will help you achieve the main goal. Consider the saying – a goal without a plan is just a wish!