Taking charge of your own career and personal development can be incredibly empowering. Though we may not be able to control the external environment, there are steps you can take to progress within your organisation, gain new responsibilities in-role or prepare for an external move. Here are a few of Optimum Recruitment’s top development tips to succeed in 2021:
Get a mentor… and become a mentor
Securing a mentor can help you to gain new perspectives, offer you a sounding board for your thoughts and ideas, and can provide you with opportunities. It’s good to seek out two mentors: one within your own company, and one outside your organisation who can offer a more impartial view. Similarly, offering this support to someone else can be hugely rewarding and looks great on a CV.
Network, network, network
Even if you’re comfortable in your current role or organisation, it’s important to keep networking online and offline. Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and that you’ve joined the relevant groups for your profession. Consider joining professional bodies or signing up to free industry meet-ups to connect with like-minded peers and potential future employers. In your own company, you should also aim to build rapport with your leadership team and aim to learn from them. Not only will you gain some insights from successful people, but getting noticed by senior executives can only be a good thing!
Be incredibly useful – but not indispensable
It’s a mistake to believe you should be totally irreplaceable in your role. Yes, be good enough that no one wants to replace you, but you are much more likely to be promoted if your work can be transferred to a successor without too much hassle. Don’t close in your options by pigeonholing yourself into a role that only you could ever fulfil. Instead, talk through your development wishes with your manager openly and offer to train someone else up when the time comes.
Know when it’s time for a fresh start
If your company isn’t developing your career in the right direction (or at all) then you need to know when to take charge of your own destiny and move on. Other organisations would be grateful to have your skills, and many offer structured progression pathways and in-role development. If you’re unsure whether there’s scope for this in your current company and you’d really like to stay, then start conversations with not only your line manager, but also your HR department.
Establish a better work-life balance
Part of having a successful career is not to let it be your entire life, because this simply isn’t healthy or sustainable in the long-term, and it will ultimately impact your mental wellbeing and productivity. Taking regular breaks, getting plenty of sleep and making time for your family, social life and hobbies is just as important as your work. This will help you to become more productive, happier, less resentful of work, and less likely to go off sick – all things that will help you to become more successful.
If you’re looking to take your development in a new direction in time for 2021, the team at Optimum Recruitment can help. We’ve supported candidates in many industries in identifying where to go next and taking their next positive step. Please do contact us if you’d like to find out how we could help you.