Driving your career development often takes nothing more than a slight attitude change and a motivation to seize new opportunities to help you grow.
The new financial year is up and running, and now is the ideal time to take significant steps to boost your career development and reignite the passion for your job.
Whether you are currently employed or looking for a new position, here are some ideas to get your career development back on track.
Create a list of greatest hits and misses
Find some time to reflect over the year to date and come up with two lists - one, a list of achievements and two, a list of things you could have done better to improve your career development.
Your list of achievements will come in handy when the time comes for you to spruce up your resume. Penning down a list of things you could have done better in serves as a visual reminder of what needs to be done to further your career development over the 12 months ahead.
Train your “focus” muscle
In any given work day, phone calls, email alerts, social media, and a myriad of other interruptions break your flow of concentration. The key to becoming more focused and productive is structure.
Structure is how you plan your day, the boundaries you create (for example, only checking emails at certain times of the day, turning off social media notifications during office hours), and the tasks you take on and delegate, and so on.
Without structure, chaos is inevitable. It’ll take time but just like strengthening your physical body, focus is a mental muscle you’ll have to work at daily, and the reward of greater productivity is certain to enhance your career development.
Seeking advice from a trusted industry veteran is helpful in any cultural setting and a definite plus for career development.
Regardless of your own level of experience, chances are someone more seasoned than provide valuable tips on how to further your career by navigating the rules – both written and unwritten – of your company’s upper management.
Learning more about your mentor’s job role can also help you make better decisions about your own career path.
Improve your personal brand
What are you known for in your office? Better yet, what do you want to be known for? From there, create a list of actionable steps that can get you from where you are now to where you want to be.
For example, if you’ve always been known as the “quiet one” it can pay to develop your public speaking skills, perhaps you can start volunteering to lead team meetings or client presentations.
Look beyond your company for career development
In order to thrive in today’s fast-paced economy in Japan, you’ll need to expand and diversify your network and skill-set. Set aside an hour or two each month to attend a networking meeting. It might provide you a new opportunity from the people in your industry.
Seek out workshops and courses to attend that can support your career development. These classes don’t always have to be relevant to your current job role. Picking up a new language or skill is always useful and you never know when you may need these skills down the line.