When most employees start thinking about their careers, they sometimes fail to look past their current job or the next promotion on the company ladder. No matter how much you progress, you should avoid thinking too short-term, and continue to grow skills and develop your experience.

It can sometimes be difficult to find the desire and motivation to develop your career, plan and work to obtain new skills and capabilities and create experiences in your working life, but it is vital if you are intent on achieving the most in your career.

Taking the opportunity to educate yourself outside of the office environment and develop in areas that are perhaps weaknesses can make you a highly desirable employee and leave you with a vast number of options when it comes to your next career move.

Assessing where you stand

Developing your skills should start with assessing those which are important within your career and its progression. Will learning a new language be useful for you later down the line, or could you look at trying to develop your IT skills as technology continues to evolve, for example.

As you assess your own skills and pinpoint areas where you would like to see improvement, you can sit down with your supervisor or manager and discuss how you can go about it.

It can be extremely easy to waste time and money on making career investments in order to improve, even though they do not align with your passionate pursuits and ultimate career ambitions. This ultimately highlights the importance of assessing needs at an early stage.

Taking responsibility

You can develop your skills in a variety of ways including through classes, webinars, podcasts and conferences.

A lot of people fail to develop their own career progression plans because they are reliant on the business they work for to provide them with everything they need. Company investments in your career may prove useful, but most of the time they will align with the organisation’s goals and not your own.

In today’s job market, it is vital to know yourself and your career ambitions well enough that you recognise when to make the necessary career investments, otherwise you risk falling behind the competition.

If you’re a graduate looking to kick-start your career, have a chat with Discovery Graduates and see how they can help get you started