Taking charge of your career

The honorific term career is a concern for everyone. Every individual has some or the other shortcomings in their career and filling the holes are certainly a critical skill on the path to professionalism. When it comes to career development, you are the best person to judge yourself. You very well know from where you have landed up here and where to go from here. It is solely your responsibility to decide the strategies for your career development.
The first step in enthusiastically managing your career is to identify your ultimate goal. Goals again signify short term and long term goals. Now focusing at your dream destination, you can decide your move to reach the point where you always wanted to be.
Start with a SWOT analysis, which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This outline can be a valuable tool for self-evaluation. Ask yourself:
·         What skills do I currently possess?
·         What skills do I need in order to reach my professional goals?
·         Are there opportunities that exist within my current company or outside of the organization where I can develop the necessary skills?
·         What potential obstacles could hamper my progress?
Once you’ve recognized your strengths and weaknesses, the actual job of personal and professional development begins. Now you can choose one from the multiple paths to travel towards your ultimate goal. Additionally, you can try the following route;
1.    On the job training: Job training is one of the best ways to develop new professional skills. You find new opportunities and scale new heights while in learning in a professional environment. Assuming you have already established yourself as a competent and dependable person, colleagues are more likely to give you a chance and provide ongoing support.
2.    Graduate School: Another way to shape your career and build credentials is the traditional path of graduate school. A lot of B-schools provide diverse streams of MBA programs that will effectively help you to add stars to your career. You just need to realize to which MBA program you would fit well and why?
3.    Certification and continuing education classes: This way of continuing education classes can be a smart approach to fill the gaps. Local college and online courses are readily available and usually offer a lot of flexibility that appeals working professionals. Not only does this type of coursework demonstrate commitment and aptitude to admissions offices, but it can also build confidence and pave the way for a more successful first year of business school.
4.    Mentorship: First, you need to find someone whom you admire professionally and schedule some time to meet with them. Have a clear idea of what you hope to learn and suggest some guidelines for the relationship. For example, would they be willing to meet quarterly? Can you call them if a more urgent question arises? Like any relationship, successful mentorships develop over time and are always based on honest and clear communications. 
Career management is an ongoing process. As you take complete responsibility of your career, remember to stay focused on your destination at the same time. Be open to the many paths that can lead you there. You never know where the next opportunity lies.

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