PERSONAL CAREER DEVELOPMENT
Development is a process of expanding, shaping and improving skills, knowledge, and interests to improve your abilities and effectiveness.
For every student or young person, it should be of crucial importance to pick up skills and working experience as they journey towards becoming professionals in their chosen career field.
Do not wait for the government or your institution to provide you with experience. A student may decide to spend his holiday in a business center and from there pick up essential ICT and business skills.
A postgraduate engineering student may decide to gather experience from a welding workshop, or a nurse may decide to volunteer in a health care facility for free.
So also an intending fashion designer, who may spend his/her time in a tailoring shop and from there pick up valuable skills which when coupled with formal education will produce exponential results.
Do not primarily focus on making money, focus on attaining every skill and experience within your immediate reach.
Open your eyes to the immediate opportunities around you, many young people still have no clue about the immense opportunity this age of Information offers.
There are vast amounts of tutorials online, free materials and resources that can guarantee you an efficient learning and development process.
The following steps below will help you with a personal development pathway for your career.
10 STEPS TO PERSONAL CAREER DEVELOPMENT
1. Periodic Self Evaluation - Analyze your personality. Are you an extrovert or an introvert? Do you like thinking or doing? Do you like routines or change? Do you like sitting behind the desk or being on the move? Take the time to analyze yourself first, then focus on particular attributes that if developed will facilitate your identified career.
2. Set Achievable Goals - Both long and short term goals. It is very easy to digress from a set career objective, but with manageable short term and long term goals, one can stay on track. In setting goals, ask yourself these questions:
- What do I want to achieve?
- How important is this goal to me?
- What are the factors that will help me achieve my goal?
- Who can help me achieve my goal?
- What are the factors that may stop me from achieving this goal?
- What is the gap between where I am now in terms of my skills and knowledge, and where I want to be?
3. Attend Seminars and Training Courses - Most organizations offer certifications and training course- do a research around your community and keep every avenue to information open. 'No knowledge gained is ever lost' There are numerous online training and certification courses- and yes there are free ones. With the volume of free online resources and information today, it is almost inconceivable why anyone will claim ignorance.
4. Get Mentorship - A senior person with an amiable attitude and experience in your chosen career field would be of immense help. Do not hesitate to talk about difficulties and seek advice. Try as much as possible to avoid asking your mentor for financial assistance, this may set the relationship on a negative path. If possible get a different sponsor to aid with finance and a specially selected person to help with Career mentorship.
5. Performance Review - From time to time evaluate your performance, review the goals you have set, if not attained within the allotted time, find the reason why, and how you may avoid it in the future. A performance review is like a roadmap, it tells you where you are coming from, where your current position is, and how far your destination is. Do not neglect this important exercise during the course of developing your career.
6. Identify Strengths and Weaknesses - By carrying out an effective performance review, you should be able to identify your perceived strength and weaknesses. 'No man is an Island', no matter how smart you are, there would exist inherent weaknesses within you. Identify these weaknesses early on in your career development process and work towards curtailing them: also ensure that you accentuate all of your strengths and build on them.
7. Do Not Waste Opportunities - Identify the opportunity in every failure, bounce back higher every time you hit the ground, sometimes failure is good: It is the only way you can get thorough experience. Evaluate events from a bigger perspective, and broaden your knowledge, these will help you see the 'Mona Lisa' in every canvas or the 'laws of motion' for every apple that drops on your head.
8. Live Healthy - Sick people don't pursue careers, even if they do: their ailing health will limit them considerably. Keep your mind and body healthy, eat good food, drink water often, exercise and rest adequately. Avoid the habit of drug abuse, which is prevalent in many Nigeria institutions today (especially private universities). Marijuana or Skunk does not give you inspiration: Codein, Tramadol and Rephnol does not make you look cool; Cigarettes and irresponsible use of alcohol will damage your organs. Make a conscientious effort to live healthy, so you may enjoy the fruits of a successful professional Career.
9. Avoid Circles Of Friends With No Positive Ambition - "Show me your friends and I can tell who you are", " Birds of the same feather flock together", "Except two agree, they cannot get along".
Avoid the lethargic circle of friends. If a friend is not helping your career move along positively, avoid him or her, if they truly love you, they will aid in your career development process.
10. Stay Motivated And Trust In God - When opportunity meets with preparation, the result is success. Christine Lagarde, in an interview with CNN was asked about her successful career as a leading woman in world economics during her time as MD of the IMF; she replied, "Providence".
An abstemious and moral lifestyle, strict obedience to the laws of the Creator, the laws of Nature and Health and also the laws of society- will bring happiness and along with it a blessed and productive life here on earth and in paradise.