8 Career Development Tips to Help You Get Ahead

career developmentThe world’s most successful people come from all different walks of life, but they all understand the same core principles of growth and professional development. From confidence to networking, the techniques required to climb to the top of the ladder can be taught and mastered, just like any other skill set.

In this blog post, you’ll learn the eight most effective career development principles to help you increase your income, improve your career opportunities, climb the ladder of success and become a results-focused, highly motivated professional.

Ready to begin? You can’t make progress in a career that you’re not truly passionate about. Discover the secret to finding your dream career and making it a reality by Redesigning Your Career.

Don’t compromise on your dreamcareer development

Climbing the ladder of success means putting the entirety of your energy into your career, often at the expense of other aspects of your life. Unless you’re passionate about what you do, you’re unlikely to have the motivation to make it to the top.

Don’t compromise on your dream and trade an ‘unrealistic’ career for a more secure and dependable option. Dedicate all of your energy to finding the dream job you’ve always wanted, and you’ll be surprised at how effective you can become.

Switching from a ‘realistic’ mindset into a more ambitious one is part of creating the mentality required for career success. It’s a massive change – one that many people spend their entire lives trying to do but ultimately never manage.

Do you need help switching from an ‘anything will do’ mindset to one in which your dream career is your top priority? Learn how to craft a successful career mindset in our course, Discover Your Dream Job.

Build a strong professional networkcareer development

Do you remember the old saying, “It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know?” While it’s not entirely true – you need knowledge and experience to make progress in any career, having a strong network will help you find opportunities.

Professional networking is one of the best ways to add influential people to your personal contact list and let them know you’re available. Many jobs are filled not through advertisements or listings, but because of lasting professional contacts.

Get out there and attend networking events, industry functions and a wide variety of other mixers in your city. The contacts you’ll gain through industry networking will help you find and capitalize on great opportunities for career advancement.

Don’t know where to start? Never networked before? Don’t worry – networking is a breeze when you know how to connect with people. Enroll in our Leveraging Links: Business Networking course to learn how to start building your network today.

Make lifelong learning a prioritycareer development

Who says learning ends when you finish college? The world’s top executives, leaders and innovators don’t stop learning once they graduate from college. They learn new skills, techniques and theories habitually throughout the rest of their lives.

Lifelong learning is what separates low and mid-level employees from those at the top of the corporate food chain. By constantly expanding your skill set, you’ll avoid the Peter Principle and continue to make progress up the corporate ladder.

From coding languages to management principles, make lifelong learning a major feature of your life and you’ll find making progress in your job simple. Start with Learning to Learn to rapidly absorb, review and use new information.

Have plenty of self-confidencecareer development

Unless you’re willing to draw attention to your achievements, you’ll unlikely make any progress in the corporate world. While too much self-confidence leads to smug behavior and arrogance, a certain amount is essential for career development.

Just like knowing how to paint or program a computer, learning how to be confident is a skill that anyone can learn. With the right exercises, mindset and practice, it’s far from impossible to become a more confident, ambitious version of yourself.

Confidence often has a paradoxical positive effect on our abilities – when we become more confident in our ability to do something, our ability to do that thing, regardless of our training or practice, improves.

Is your confidence lacking? Do you feel self-doubt when you want to make a big step in your career or ask for a raise? Join over 400 students and learn how to build your self-confidence in our course, Transform Self Doubt into Confidence.

Master the art of direct salescareer development

The most successful people in any field – from engineering to fine art to hospitality – are all master salespeople. They may not necessarily now how to sell a product, but they all know how to sell one thing: themselves and their skills and abilities.

From Gordon Ramsay to Steve Jobs, the world’s most successful people all know the importance of good sales skills. Being able to persuade and influence people creates a powerful advantage when it comes to closing deals and securing promotions.

Forget the old idea that salespeople are born, not made. It isn’t true. With the right attitude and the right training, you can rapidly improve your sales skills and close deals with anyone for anything with ease.

Do you want to become a master salesperson? Learn how to hone your persuasive skills to sell anything – from a new product to your own professional services – with training in Sales and Persuasion Skills for Startups.

De-stress and decompressaccelerated learning techniques

You can’t always be ‘on.’ Developing your career is hard work, and when you work hard it’s just as important to spend time away from your work reducing stress and relaxing as it is to put in extra hours behind your desk.

Some professionals take a Gordon Gekko approach to their careers, spending every waking moment at work focusing on expanding their wealth. This attitude pays off in the short term, but it’s a recipe for stress, ill health and depression over time.

No matter how hard you work during the week, make sure you take at least one day off every weekend to de-stress and decompress. If you struggle with stress, use yoga and other stress-reducing techniques to improve your health and regain focus.

Would you like to feel more focused, less stressed and far more productive during the workweek? Learn how to spend your time away from work enhancing your health and regaining energy in our Meditation for Entrepreneurs course.

Manage your finances responsiblyshutterstock_119197588

As your paycheck grows, it’s tempting to let your expenses grow with it. From new suits to expensive dinners, the trappings of a corporate lifestyle can quickly add up and push you out of financial freedom and further into personal debt.

Combined with the long hours and demanding workload of a professional career, a large amount of debt can produce incredibly unhealthy stress. For your health and your financial future, it’s always best to avoid taking on unnecessary debt.

Preparing a monthly budget allows you to live within your means and scale your life to suit your needs, not your salary. Spending responsibly is one of the most valuable aspects of building your career, since it insulates you from the risk of a setback.

Do you need help creating a personal budget that offers the right combination of fun and responsibility? Learn how to create a personal budget that lets you save money while enjoying life with Personal Financial Well-Being.

Build your professional brandcareer development

Are you an independent freelancer? Do you work as a consultant rather than as an employee? If you’re self employed, the path to career success is quite different from that of a salaried employee within a major company.

As an independent professional, the key to attracting new clients and growing your income is your personal brand. Your personal brand is the public image that people see when they consider working with you – your resume, experience and qualities.

Strengthening your personal brand could involve transitioning from working with small businesses to working with large companies. It could involve getting positive testimonials from a wide variety of different clients, partners and contacts.

When you have work coming in left and right, building a personal brand might not seem important. However, it’s one of the most valuable professional assets that any independent freelancer or consultant can build for themselves.

Do you have a personal brand? If so, what does it say about you, your services and the results you produce for your clients? Learn how to develop a personal brand to enhance your career with the Ultimate Guide to Building a Personal Brand.

Start improving your career today

Making progress in your career doesn’t have to mean radically changing your entire mindset overnight. Sometimes success comes one day at a time, and gradual change to your professional outlook is all it takes to slowly scale the corporate ladder.

Whether you’ve spent years in an unsatisfying career or you’ve just left college and need guidance, it’s never too late or the wrong time to make change. Read our blog post on career anchors to learn more about making real progress in your career.