These days, it is no longer enough to be good at your job if you want to have a successful and lengthy career. You have to constantly look at ways to make yourself more valuable to your employer, or to seek ways to make yourself noticed in the industry you are working in.
While there is no great magic trick to ensure your success, there are ways to assist your career development. Here are ten tips to make sure you keep advancing.
- Take responsibility for your own career development. Big companies often have training programmes for employees, but you cannot rely on these to increase your knowledge. Seek out courses you can take to boost your knowledge.
- Be strategic. You should have a 5 to 10 year goal in mind, not just drift from year to year. Look for people in the roles you would like to see yourself in and seek their advice.
- Align your goals with your employers’ goals. Having a mission similar to that of your company’s will help to focus your vision. Find ways to maximise your contribution.
- Know your customers. Even if you are not in a client-facing position, knowing your customers and understanding their needs will help you to gain more insight for your present role and future positions within the company.
- Collaborate. Working with other people on projects and assignments will give a different perspective and offer new ways of looking at things. Teamwork is a quick and easy way to learn on the job.
- Improve your communication skills. Even the most adept technician will not advance if they have poor communication skills. As you climb higher up the ladder, you will have more and more need to communicate effectively. Find out your weak areas (such as doing presentations, delegating or listening) and attend groups or workshops to improve these.
- Expand your experience. Volunteering for projects outside of your every day job will broaden your abilities. Even tasks unrelated to your current role will have an impact somewhere down the line.
- Find a mentor. Identify someone within your organisation you aspire to be like and ask them to be your mentor. But don’t expect them to do everything – you need to have a specific purpose and timeframe in mind.
- Network. Whether it be via social networking channels, or by joining professional organisations or charities, it is vital to meet as many people as possible who could shape your career.
- Specialise. If you can identify a skill or aspect you are good at, it’s worth focusing on and marketing yourself. Experts in various fields are always valued, so do what you can to make yourself an expert in something relevant.
How to boost your career with Caterpillar’s Learning Management System
Reading, constantly learning and improving your skills is an important part of your career development. The internet provides many valuable resources, such as the free online learning course offered by Caterpillar. With a view to empowering people and getting more skilled technicians out there in the mining and construction industries, they have offered this comprehensive and interactive technical course at no cost. With a certificate issued on successful completion of the course, what easier way is there to take charge of your own career development?