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How To Take Charge Of Your Career Development

Expert Panelists are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within the areas of Business, Mindset, Leadership, Lifestyle, and Sustainability. Members of The Brainz Magazine community of experts will share their best tips, advice, ideas, and hacks on different topics.


Expert Panelists

1. Assess and identify your strengths

Whether you are starting a job for the first time, or changing careers, the key to career development begins with first assessing and identifying your interests, strengths, and skills. Discovering your interests, strengths, and skills will position you to discover a variety of careers that align with them. Second, develop a career plan that reflects short (6 months to 1 year) and long-term (2-3 years) goals and activities to achieve them. Third, identify a career coach or mentor to guide and offer professional assistance to you in landing your dream career. – Dr. Joi L. Brown, Career Strategist, Life Coach & Empowerment Speaker

2. Pay attention when it's time to bow out

There have been times in my career when I felt it was time to leave a position, but I stayed longer than I wanted out of loyalty to my co-workers and my clients. I’ll be honest and say that I was also afraid to leave, not knowing if my next career move would be successful. Fear will stop us in our tracks, even when we know it’s time to leave, and we will make excuses to stay while suffering in silence. Pay attention to the nudge when you know deep down that it’s time to take the exit. – Dr. Leslie Davis, Clinical Counselor & Relationship Coach

3. Have the courage to step to the next level

The secret is YOU. You deserve to step into your future. You have the courage it takes; you just need to activate it! The paths leading to personal and professional development are numerous. Diverse approaches exist for every person and circumstance. There literally is nothing stopping you from exploring what will ignite your next level. Begin anywhere. You are the secret! – Cindy Saunders, Executive Coach

4. Allow yourself to grow

Career development comes in many forms and can be incredibly personal based on the company or organization you are working at, the career path you desire, the size of the company and even the company culture. Yet, keep in mind your career development is not limited by the company where you currently work. First, take some time and consider where you want your career to go in the next 3-5 years (don’t limit yourself in this step). Next, determine if your current company has a division, department, position, etc. that fulfills this desire. If they do, begin learning and even demonstrating what others need to see in/from you for them to move you ultimately to that position. If they don’t, then begin looking outside the company for the type of training you might need to develop the skills needed to achieve this path and/or other companies that might be a better fit for you to get on your career path. And lastly, working with a career coach will help you achieve clarity and unlock your heart. – Dianne McKim, Career/Leadership/Executive Coach

5. Build your own trusted advisors

Perhaps the most impactful thing you can do to enhance and accelerate your career is to build out a strong network of trusted advisors that you can both learn from and who will help you set goals for your next steps. Essentially, this is your own personal board of advisors, a group of individuals in key areas of business that you can go to for advice and who will hold you accountable as it relates to your personal goals and objectives. More than just mentors, they look at your development across all business disciplines and give you both tactical and strategic advice to further your career. – Nicole Spracale, Business Coaching & Fractional COO

6. Create your targets

You have to have a clear idea of where you would like to go in your career in order to begin the journey to get there. I recommend to my clients to set targets for their careers in terms of income, skill development, creation, promotion, and reach in the world. From acknowledging these goals and reviewing and changing them every six months, one can direct their energy each day towards forward movement and accomplishment. A successful coach or mentor can be a huge contribution to this process, and I suggest working with someone who will motivate and inspire you to keep achieving and progressing. – Dr. Adriana Popescu, Clinical Psychologist and Empowerment Coach

7. Engage in quiet time and reflection

In our careers, it's common to float from one opportunity to the next without thinking of what we truly want. So hit the "pause button" and do some serious reflection about what work energizes you, what organizations believe the same thing you believe in, and what your non-negotiables (or dealbreakers) are. When you reflect and take stock of what you need in your career, you can intentionally seek after those roles that fit the bill, increasing your chances of career fulfillment. "Run to" an opportunity of good fit, versus "running away" from what you have. – Michelle Schafer, Career Transition and Leadership Coach

8. Acquire new skills

The acceleration of skills obsolescence in a world that is reinventing itself faster than ever, means that you need to stay up to your learning game. Not only acquiring new technical skills, but also embracing those human skills that you can turn into self-career skills : empathy, courage, curiosity and gratitude to name a few. So, take advantage of every opportunity to expand your learning, whether in the field, in real or virtual classrooms, in formal or informal contexts. This will pay off when it will come to make critical career decisions. – Sandrine Gelin-Lamrani, Professional Coach

9. Pursue authentic goals

Despite our scientific and technological advances, today we face a massive epidemic of job dissatisfaction, burnout and disengagement. While success and fulfilment are frequently used words, few seem to tangibly achieve them consistently. In my work and experience, I believe that its important to identify one's authentic goals, and align one-self internally with one's core values, interests, goals and mission. Knowing one's why is the key. To take charge of one's career development, one needs to gain clarity of who they are, what their authentic goals are and then figure how to pursue them. – Ketan Kulkarni, SavvyPhysician



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