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What is Career Development and Why Is It So Essential for Women?

Now, more than ever, time is a precious commodity, and how you choose to spend it will reveal itself in results – at work and home.

Today, women want jobs that are satisfying, challenging, meaningful, and offer opportunities for actual growth. If that aligns with your goals, know it will take intention and planning.  

What is Career Development?

Don’t settle for a job being a hum-drum job; instead, put your effort into a career that’s a rewarding experience. To excel, you’ll need to do your part and identify opportunities to further your career, professional and personal development. That’s the key to meaningful career development.

Career development alludes to seeking to grow with intentionality via relationships with peers, managers, human resources, and outside networking, training, and educational opportunities. Career development means increasing your competency in soft skills as well as increasing your technical skill levels. Keep your eyes wide open for opportunities that may present themselves at unexpected moments.

It will require you to be hungry for responsibilities, challenges, training, and enrichment activities. Bear in mind opportunities abound within your workplace and elsewhere.

What are you willing to take on, and who knows about it?

Are you committed to strategically exploring, planning, and imagining your path forward by utilizing all resources available to you? 

If so, you’re sure to build and execute a brilliant career development strategy.

Ready to transform yourself for success? You’ll want to read The Success Principles,’ by Jack Canfield; this classic guidebook originally published more than 15 years was updated five years ago to add perspectives on success in the digital age. 

"The swiftest way to triple your success is to double your investment in personal development." - Robin Sharma 

3 Effective Career Development Strategies that Are Tried and True

It is said that one should keep what works and leave the rest. That said, only effective career development strategies matter when it comes to getting results. Utilizing the three proven strategies below will put you at the head of the pack:

1 Define the Gap. 

  • Take time to self-reflect on what you want to achieve.
  • Research to identify what skills are needed for the role you want; talk to someone who has the job you want to have in 5 years.
  • Self-assess your current skills. 

2 Develop a Game Plan to Close the Gap. 

  • Map out where to find training to develop needed skills (books, job shadowing, classroom or online training or certifications).
  • Discuss with your manager and others in your company your career goals (doing so could open opportunities including projects to gain experience and necessary skills).

Self-promote. 

  • Tell others what you want.
  • Tell others what you are doing about it.
  • Share with others what you are learning.
  • Be sure to include your managers and/or other leaders in your current company when you share with others.

Deploy the above strategies repeatedly throughout your career journey. It’s a cycle of Wash - Rinse - Repeat. 

Goal setting is foundational to your career development - and you’ll need to have short-term and long-term goals clearly defined. To grow in responsibilities, you must set goals, plan how to achieve them, and execute the plan. For more on goal setting, be sure to read What Every Career-Minded Woman Ought to Know About Effective Goal Setting 

Career development (building skills) in the short term leads to career growth down the road. So, you’ll find that career growth follows career development. 

Essential Skills for Career Development

A lifelong love of learning stands out among essential skills for career development and personal development as well. It should come as no surprise; your development will be related to your passion for learning and pursuit of knowledge. 

Where are you on the spectrum?

Do you seek out learning opportunities at every turn? 

Are you eager to learn new concepts and gain proficiency?

Many employers offer internal opportunities for learning for employees, and you should take advantage to uplevel your skills in areas most essential to your growth. Additionally, be willing to invest in outside educational opportunities that can further fuel both your personal and career development.

Communication skills, both written and oral, will pave the way for a natural trajectory of career growth. Presentation skills are highly valued, and given the opportunity to speak, you should always seize the opportunity – be it in a small group or large. 

Can you speak persuasively, changing the hearts, minds, and opinions of listeners? Mastering the art of persuasion is one skill worth its weight in gold and is particularly advantageous in negotiations.

In addition to persuasive skills, can you articulate well and get your point across clearly? In the corporate world, men often push and shove, jostling for control. That being said, how are you perceived, and how do you wish to position yourself?

Let’s say you’re a strong communicator, are you an equally attentive listener? Do you give others the floor to have a chance to be seen and heard? Do you try to understand the other person’s perspective?

It's also important to figure out what's critical in a particular industry and role.

So, self-assessment and understanding are critical skills in mapping out what you want in the future. Are you going to be in a position that requires negotiating, sales, and/or customer service? With that knowledge, you can build a suitable development plan for a particular role or organization.

Leveraging all of your essential skills for career development will help you rise through the ranks with greater ease.

What Role Do Career Growth and Development Play in Climbing the Corporate Ladder?

Career growth and development, crafted strategically, positions you on the right ladder for desired growth. That’s one of the benefits of being intentional with your goals, plans, and aspirations.

We each are given the same number of hours in a day; how you manage your time will make the most difference.

You must demonstrate that you are constantly gaining new skills and be a go-getter.

Also, it’s important to accept your shortcomings and acknowledge the areas that are not your area of expertise. While you may never be a finance person or a techie, you do need to meet with the finance or the IT people to understand what they're trying to do and what you can do to help them.

You don't have to know it all to achieve career growth and development -- but you have to understand every department's role and how every person contributes to the whole. No one group is more important than another group, even though some think they are. Part of moving ahead in your career development within a company is understanding the critical role or the contributions that each area makes and what you can you do to even add more to that.

By doing so, your value is enhanced by becoming a true collaborator and exemplary team player.

"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained." -- Marie Curie

What Are the Best Practices of How to Enhance Career Development by Partnering with a Coach

"We can't become what we need to be by remaining what we are." - Oprah Winfrey

It’s common for career-minded women to seek out the help of an expert to learn how to enhance career development in the most impactful ways.

If you’re an ambitious woman with your sights set high, partnering with a coach can be instrumental in enhancing your career development. Having a coach will accelerate your growth and get you to your goals faster and more efficiently.

Here’s what you can look forward to when working with a coach:

  1. Brainstorming - your coach will generate ideas with you without judgment. Coming up with fresh new ideas to revitalize your current thinking. Outside-the-box thinking is important for innovators and leaders. 
  2. Shifting perspective and seeing a bigger picture of what's possible - you learn to see things differently with a broader perspective. By virtue of life experience, you only know what you know until you’re exposed to new ways of thinking. 
  3. Helping build a realistic plan and goals - in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
  4. Encouraging you to take steps outside of your comfort zone - do things the same way and you get the same results. It’s time to get comfortable being uncomfortable and it tends to lead to new growth.
  5. Celebrating your success - a coach celebrates your successes with you! (No matter how big or small.) You get the bonus of a personal cheering squad. Knowing someone has your back as you journey ahead is worth its weight in gold.

And…there’s no time like the present to make bold moves to impact your career growth and development. 

If you’re ready to reach for what you want and experience firsthand what it’s like to collaborate with a coach, book a 30-min Discovery call to start a conversation about what’s important to you.

Your dreams and aspirations are too important to leave to chance!

Together we’ll map out your pathway to success!



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