After completing their degrees, students get super energetic about stepping into professional life. But the post-graduation enthusiasm usually fades away in a matter of a few years. One of the biggest reasons behind this is stagnant career growth. In other words, you do not move up the career ladder as fast as you had been anticipating.
Lately, many companies have started investing in employee training programs. A credible study demonstrates that modern-day enterprises sanction almost 5 percent of salary costs on training sessions. It is a great initiative that enhances the competency level of workers. But solely relying on training will not pave the way for career development. You must take the following measures to ensure exponential evolution during the employment tenure:
1. Expand Your Network
You can readily come across multi-talented individuals who work for an average company on an average salary. It is the direct byproduct of not associating with the right people. No matter how gifted someone may be, there is always room for guidance and support. That is where a robust network makes the difference.
Attending professional events is an excellent way to enhance your network. If you keep marking your presence in every relevant gathering, people will start noticing your presence. Gradually, they will remember your name and face and connect with you more frequently.
Most employees come up with the excuse that they do not have enough time for networking. In that case, you can leverage social media. Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, and Meetup get virtually peppered with tons of groups. With little to no heel-dragging, you can easily find one that resonates with your profession. It bears worth mentioning that being a silent member of a group will do no good whatsoever. You have to stay active one way or the other to create reliable bonding.
2. Develop Soft Skills
In 1820, only 12 percent of the total world population could read and write. Today, nearly 86 percent of people can effectively engage in reading and writing. The figure paints a clear picture that we have come a long way as hard skills are concerned. So much so, third-world countries are catching up with developed nations in terms of technical skills. More so, after the launch of programs like online MBA no GMAT required by various well-reputed institutions.
So the odds are almost all the employees are well-equipped with hard skills. However, soft skills are areas where you can gain an edge over others and emerge as an ideal candidate for recruiters. Some employers are even willing to hire prospects that slightly lag behind hard skills if they tick all soft skills boxes.
Here is the list of the most critical and sought-after soft skill proficiencies:
- Communication skills: No matter what hat you are wearing in the workspace, you will have to communicate with coworkers or higher-ups at some point. Efficient communication is not only about driving your point home by speaking. It also comprises writing, listening, and body language.
- Emotional intelligence: Broadly speaking, emotional intelligence refers to emotional consciousness while making decisions or interacting with others. Developing this skill is particularly important for a fast-paced work environment, indispensable for a modern-day workplace. You can jack up emotional intelligence with the help of special exercises.
- Leadership qualities: Organizations are shifting from an individual approach to teamwork. The reason being, teamwork leads to improved productivity. So if you know how to unite and motivate a group of people to finish a project, your career graph is sure to move upward.
3. Step Up For Freelancing
The freelance market is going through an unprecedented boom. Statistically speaking, 10-30 percent of total employees would be operating as freelancers next year. Arguably, the best thing about freelancing is that it allows you to polish your necessary skills. In other words, it is an ideal platform for those who want to get professional exposure and beef up their CV.
Freelancing is also a good alternative if a 9-5 job is not your cup of tea. Try not to assume that freelancing only guarantees a better work-life balance; it is financially rewarding as well. It is one reason why roughly more than 20 percent of American freelancers’ income cross the six-figure mark.
4. Set Learning Objectives
Gone are the days when you could spend your entire employment tenure with single expertise. All thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI). According to a well-documented report, 72 percent of business leaders believe that companies using AI have the upper hand over competitors. That is why enterprises are hell-bent on incorporating automation within the workplace. Think about it; do you have any backup if your boss replaces you with a machine? If not, your professional journey is sure to take a nosedive.
Therefore, it is highly advisable to set learning goals throughout your career. There are numerous websites, podcasts, and tv programs that can provide insights regarding your industry’s latest development. Once you come to terms with this aerial view, you can correctly prioritize learning goals.
Make sure all your objectives are time-bound. If you have difficulty deciding a realistic deadline for a goal, break it down into smaller feats.
5. Make Yourself Available For Additional Roles
Even if your boss hires you as an IT expert, sometimes you should get involved in projects lying outside your purview. It can be instrumental in exploring yourself. Who knows? You might end up learning something that overlaps with your profession. Besides, companies rely on employees who like to step outside their comfort zone and take challenges head-on.
Indeed, workers have their calendars booked nowadays. One may find it tricky to raise his/her hand when the boss says who is up to volunteer an assignment. If you are on top of time management, you can easily do away with this problem. Here are two tips that will make it easier for an individual to allocate time:
- Avoid delaying: Procrastination is out and out the most significant barrier in proper time management. The best way to avoid procrastination is to schedule a task and stick to the timetable come what may.
- Start your day early: Early risers tend to be more creative and clear-headed. In other words, your productivity level becomes extraordinary during the early hours of the day. Resultantly, you finish tasks faster. If you do not happen to be a morning person, you need to revamp your schedule right off the bat.
The Concluding Remarks
There is no denying that new organizations are heavily financing and implementing programs for employee career development. But they can’t cover every aspect of it. Eventually, you will have to take responsibility for your growth. The steps mentioned above will come in handy to do so.