Professional growth is used to gain new experiences and skills to support a current job position or prime for another.
If you are investing in your professional growth, you probably have career-advancing pursuits on the brain.
Investing in your professional growth exhibits drive, initiative, humbleness, self-cognition, and diligence.
If you want to get anywhere professionally, you have to grow there.
Obtain the necessary attributes to fill a desired position and meet self-expectations for professional success and happiness.
Professional growth can be pursued in many ways.
Here are seven ways to advance professional growth in your career.
Define Professional Success is For You
While there is a general understanding of what success looks like, success on an individual level is different for everyone.
Someone else’s definition of success, like your boss or coworker, may be entirely different for you and may not even be what you want.
That is why before you carve out how to advance your professional growth, you define it personally.
It is important to define what success is to you and how that is reflected in advancing professional growth in your career.
Sit down and ask yourself questions to get an idea of direction. What does the future professionally successful you look like?
What do you do? What do you care about? How do you know you’ve made it?
How are you making an impact?
The great news is that there isn’t a right or wrong because it’s whatever you want it to be.
You may even decide to change it later down the road or after achieving your first level of success because there’s always room to improve and grow no matter what level you are at professionally.
Create a Plan and Incorporate SMART Goals
Once you know what success looks like for you devise a plan to get you there. Yes! You must plan to grow professionally because if you go about it all willy nilly you can grow in any direction.
You have a definition of where you want to go, so now it is time to create actionable steps.
Map out a path for your plan.
Your plan should start at your current position and end at your desired position or goal. In between, you should fill it with milestones and action steps.
Break down big milestones, goals, and tasks into their smallest component to make them more manageable.
Using SMART (smart, measurable, attainable, reasonable, time) goals along the way will help you stay accountable on your professional growth journey.
Monitor your direction to reach your goal with time and milestones to help you achieve success.
Milestones give you something to look forward to and monitoring the time helps you track your progress.
Take That First Step
Back up the work you’ve done so far by taking that very first step. Taking that first step makes achieving your success real.
Plans seem easy in theory, but once out in the real world have the liability to go anyway, and sometimes that’s scary.
It’s even scary to actually reach those goals.
Take the initiative and persevere forward. This may look like auditing your current skillset, seeking out executive resume writing services, or connecting with a mentor.
You have the heart and drive to do it, now it’s time to get it in gear.
Don’t let things like fear, imposter syndrome, or doubt hold you back.
If you can think it, you can do it.
Jump at opportunities, get seen at industry events, and be celebrated for your expertise.
Use discernment, wisdom, and strategic enthusiasm to maneuver as you grow.
Equally Spend Time on Emotional Intelligence and Reinforcing Knowledge Foundations
Growth in the professional world is a continuous process. It is important to equally spend time on your emotional intelligence and foundational knowledge.
Your professional world is filled with people.
People you work with, people you provide a service or product for, people who lead organizations. Ultimately, your next position will be decided by people.
Emotional intelligence is a key indicator of growth.
It is used to predict workplace success and a desired skill for connecting and working with others.
To grow your emotional intelligence, evaluate strengths and weaknesses in regards to your interpersonal skills to see what areas you can use to your advantage now and weaknesses you can leverage while growing.
Additionally, reinforce your foundational knowledge. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in a redundant process.
Reinforcing foundations helps you stay primed for continued learning.
With developing technology, foundations also are subject to change.
Reviewing foundational knowledge can help you stay abreast of any changes.
Lean into Feedback and Constructive Criticism
Feedback and constructive criticism are integral to professional growth. Without these two, where and how would you know to grow?
This is not to say to take any opinion.
Feedback and constructive criticism should have a combination of positive, motivational, and convicting feelings to encourage you to grow.
They should be used to build you up, not break you down.
If you want to see where you are on your professional growth plan, check your feedback.
Feedback is excellent to pinpoint where your current position is. Constructive criticism can give you more information on how to proceed.
Whether you should keep doing what you’ve been doing, change your plan entirely, or make some tweaks here and there.
Do not shy away from feedback and constructive criticism Eagerly seek it out from trusted coworkers, friends, higher-ups, and mentors.
In engaging feedback and constructive criticism, you can open up more growth opportunities for yourself.
Use Your Network
Having the help of others is essential to advancing your professional growth in your career. You can’t do it alone.
Networking is a vital skill for any professional and your network is an indispensable resource.
You should consult your network when drafting your plan and throughout the process.
Your network is a source of various information that can help you along the way.
You can gather new ideas, get help thinking outside the box, or even pursue a new goal that wasn’t even a part of your original plan.
Take Advantage of Career Trainings and Workshops
There is a plethora of resources and tools available to you to help you advance your professional growth in your career.
As mentioned earlier, growth is a continuous process and thus, learning is a continual process.
Utilize every opportunity to learn and grow. Don’t be afraid as this may take you outside of your comfort zone.
Most organizations have some form of career development and offer in-house training and workshops.
There are also free courses and engagements available via the internet. Use these to your full advantage.
Also, take up opportunities outside your employment like conferences and meet-ups.
Gaining more knowledge never hurt.
Dedicating time to professional development can also have immediate impacts as people observe you striving for more.
Pursuing ways to advance your professional growth for your career is an outstanding way to invest in yourself.
As you work on your development, you’ll find that future possibilities become greater.
Don’t limit yourself when imagining what your professional success can look like.
Define what success means to you and develop a plan with actionable steps to achieve it.
Take advantage of resources, lean into feedback and constructive criticism, and build your knowledge base.
Track your progress and watch where you go.