Growth, a career goal that comes from hard work and continuous learning (not to mention who you know and a little bit of luck). Yes, some of this “growth” we are seeking will only come with time and experience. The likelihood that you will jump from receptionist to CEO is pretty slim, but as you move throughout your career the following advice will be a constant aid in you being able to achieve your career goals. These are things you can do every day which will put you on the path to reaching your career goals. Some of these will take a little work, some a little more, and others will just take some acceptance.

  1. Create professional relationships, be kind and offer assistance to other professionals. It seems like a “pay it forward” piece of advice, and it kind of is. By having quality relationships with other likeminded individuals, your professional opportunities can greatly increase.
  2. If you know the answer, don’t ask the question. There are no “dumb” questions if you do not know the answer, but why bother asking if you already know the answer? It can come across as condescending or just plain annoying as it wastes people’s time.
  3. Make mistakes, accept them and learn from them. If you are not making any mistakes you are probably not working hard enough. Mistakes are part of the learning process, the key is to learn from them, once made do not make them again. Show your personal growth in these circumstances.
  4. If you do not know something, it’s ok, it can be learned. Speak up, ask other professionals for advice! Not only can you gain some great insight from people with more or different experiences than yourself, you may even gain a mentor or coach who can assist you in your professional development path.
  5. Be credible, stay up-to-date. Thanks to the internet we can easily stay on top of industry changes, trends, etc. Follow industry leaders for best practices, read trade journals, attend industry related events, attend webinars or participate in online forums.
  6. Not only can this be personally gratifying and a great learning experience, you are doing something for the good of others and beneficial to your community. Volunteering can also be a great opportunity to network!
  7. Join committees or professional groups/associations. These can expose you to different skills that you may need to further your career and can also help to show your drive and ambition as a professional.
  8. Take advantage of the learning initiatives your company may offer, these resources will help you as well as the company. Find certifications or training that you can do in your free time that can complement or improve upon your skill set. For example, at codeacademy.com you can learn a computer language for free!
  9. Assess your job market, do you stack up to the qualifications in your desired career path? Every now and again perform a job search, even if you aren’t looking for a new position to see where you are at in comparison to the changing market, adapt, change, and learn accordingly.
  10. READ! Continuous learning involves continually gaining new knowledge. Read articles, books, websites, etc. in your niche, but do not forget to read outside of your industry’s niche. Whenever you read something new, reflect on what you have read and think about how you can apply the related material to your business/industry/interests.