Career development involves doing your job well while deliberately growing your skills and experience base. At its best, it’s being conscious of how what you’re doing today is helping to build your resume for tomorrow. After all, continuous learning is the new job security. But what does that mean in daily practice?
Building your resume means thinking about how your tasks and progress are adding value for you and your organisation. Every day. It requires curiosity, initiative, generosity, awareness and courage – not to mention some artful delegation (also known as new opportunities for others). If you go to work thinking “This is good, I’m learning x or y”, then you’re likely on the right track.
To help you stay mindful of your career goals (more on these in a future blog) and therefore where to focus your efforts, try keeping a work journal. Set aside an hour each month to record and reflect on what you’re consciously doing to deepen or broaden your skills and experience. Ask yourself:
have I done in the last month that shows I’m reaching my goals?
What am I good at?
What can I do more of?
What have I done that shows I’m ready for another challenge or role?
And before you think ‘who has the time to journal?’, consider the potential return on investment. Aside from sharpening your goal focus, you’ll be identifying and gathering concrete examples of how you’re consciously growing – which will help you get ahead of that next performance review, interview or pay rise conversation.