How to advance your professional growth

Here are steps to grow in your career:

  1. Set clear goals about your expectations
    By setting detailed, quantifiable goals, you can create actionable steps to help you achieve those goals. Being able to measure your accomplishments may also help motivate you for the long term.

Examples of professional growth goals include:

Obtaining an academic degree
Earning industry certification
Joining a professional organization
Learning new technology
Increasing duties and responsibilities
2. Approach your goal with a step-by-step plan
Once you have established your goal, break it down into a step-by-step action plan. A professional development plan (PDP) can guide you toward your goal by implementing structured steps. For example, you’ve set a goal to write a software program. Before you can do that, your first step will be to take classes to learn the necessary programming languages.

  1. Actively search for new opportunities
    While training is an important aspect of professional growth, experience and opportunities can be just as transformative. Look for opportunities to attend conventions and classes but also be aware of projects to challenge you and grow your skill set. By taking on new responsibilities, you will learn more about your potential.

  2. Discuss your career goals with a supervisor or colleague
    It’s important to let your supervisor know what your aspirations are for your career. After all, part of their job is to foster your development and become a valuable asset within the company. If they know that you are eager to take on new challenges, they will likely start to trust you with more responsibilities. Your supervisor can also be a great resource for learning about available training courses. If you don’t have a supervisor or you work independently, ask a colleague in your industry if they know of opportunities to expand your skills or experience.

  3. Keep track of your progress
    Though growing is exciting, there may be times when you experience frustration or doubt. That’s why it is important to keep track of your accomplishments and regularly review your progress. Also, this ensures that you remain committed to your plan and allows you to improve your efforts if your progress begins to slow.