How to manage your own career development
An effective way to manage your career development is through a devised plan, which outlines your ambitions and what you wish to accomplish. By highlighting your short and long-term goals, it can serve as a reliable roadmap to the qualifications, skills, and experience that is essential for the dream job. By creating a series of easy to achieve targets and identifying your strengths and weaknesses, you can gradually reclaim control of your professional career and future.
1. Set your short- and long-term goals
It is important to set both short- and long-term goals that will enable you to have an insight into your professional future and ambitions. It can be difficult to establish these objectives, and the media sector can be highly unpredictable; we may not know the exciting opportunities that will arise. However, it is crucial that you outline what you wish to achieve, and to include both pragmatic and greater, dream-like aspirations.
Short term: These goals should relate to what you wish to achieve in the next week, month, and up to a year.
Examples: Completing a qualification, improving your networking and communication skills or looking for an internship or work-experience.
Long term: These goals will challenge and give a sense of direction and should include professional aspirations concerning 12+ months.
Examples: A promotion, to switch careers, or to have a piece of professional work published.
2. Recognise your achievements
It is important to establish career goals, but it can leave you dissatisfied with your current situation. You should recognise what you have achieved so far, and be proud of everything you have overcome.
One way to do this is to write a list of your accomplishments, including qualifications, and any experience you have gained throughout your professional life. You can do this alongside your weekly or monthly to-do list and entitle it an ‘already achieved’ list. This is highly motivational, and will boost your emotional wellbeing and self-esteem, and will enable you to understand or recognise the gaps in your CV.
3. Take action
Now you understand and recognise what you wish to achieve, and what your successes are, it is important to take action. You can do this by responding to feedback from a manager, or even asking what you could do to improve yourself professionally. You could also ask if there are any tasks that need to be completed or you can help with. Or maybe there are personal skills that you wish to improve, like how you get easily distracted, or maybe you want to develop your time management skills.
Ask for opportunities: You should not only seek opportunities within your role or in your workplace, but another way of developing skills is through voluntary work. You could reach out to companies or charities, which can be a great way to give back whilst gaining experience. It is a great avenue to consider especially within the journalism sector, as it is highly competitive, and could make your CV stand out to employers.
4. Be willing to take risks
It is important to be guided by your short- and long-term goals, but these should not prevent you from taking advantage of other exciting opportunities that arise. They may not relate directly to your goals, or are in your long-term career plans, however if they interest you and offer the chance to develop your CV and skillset they are worth exploring. It might also help you discover a new passion, or develop and heighten your leadership skills, and of course, ultimately tackle fear.
Hopefully these steps will help you to not only acknowledge your short- and long-term ambitions, but to recognise your talents, including your strengths and weaknesses. By following a career development plan, it will encourage you to implement a course of action that will move you step by step towards your dream career.
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