Starting a new year can feel like starting a fresh, new, clean slate. It can also make us take stock of our accomplishments in the previous year and can make us take an introspective look and see what requires improvements. Indeed, our accomplishments, (or lack thereof) can often motivate us to do better and be better. How can you take on the year by its horns and power up your career?

Working on your career development will keep you competitive, especially when you’re looking to step up in your career or look for new opportunities.

Mark Twain famously said, “the secret of getting ahead is getting started”. Oftentimes, the start is the most difficult part and when we think about career goals, it can become overwhelming. Where should one start? There is no one way to do things, and the many options and possibilities available online and offline can easily intimidate, rather than help you. The trick is to think in small steps and start by figuring out a way to get organised. There are countless productivity and organisation apps out there – namely Evernote, Google Keep, Monday, and Trello. The tough part is to find one that suits your requirements. If you’re more analogue than digital – find yourself a good planner or notebook and stick to it!

The surefire way to power up your career is to improve your skills and applicable knowledge. To be able to do this, you need to seek out new opportunities and responsibilities (even within your role). You would also need to be open to making mistakes. Failure, in itself, will teach you a lot. Just being able to try new things is growth in itself, and you be even lucky enough to be a natural in what you try.

What are the benefits of career growth?

1. You feel better about yourself

Your sense of well-being will improve because you know you’re doing your best as an individual. Improving yourself and working towards your goals constantly is a positive feeling.

2. Lower levels of stress and anxiety

Connected with the first point, when you feel like there is room to grow and you’re working towards it, you’ll have one less thing to stress about. You’ll feel more confident in your skills and your work and that’s one less thing to stress about!

3. Improved work performance

If you’re working on improving your skills, your performance at work will naturally improve. You’ll feel appreciated more when you feel like your employer allows room for growth and encourages it. This makes you a more loyal employee. Providing growth opportunities for employees will boost productivity and lower their turnover rates.

4. Improved job satisfaction

When you feel like you’re utilising your skills at work and progressing in your career, you will feel better about yourself and your career. You will feel more accomplished and on your way to great things. Who doesn’t love that feeling?

What can you do to power up your career?

Stop working reactively

There are many distractions around us, the constant Whatsapp pings, emails, and constantly refreshed social media feeds that bombard our brains with noise and instant reactions. The everyday hustle and bustle can often make us lose ourselves and our perspectives in a sea of work and home responsibilities. These “pressing” demands drain our limited resources – using up our precious few working hours in the day, and our energy, making us lose focus. Being in reactive mode can make us feel powerless, making us feel like what happens to us and what can be done in a day depends on external forces, when, really, it depends on you.

Listen to and receive feedback

If you’re looking to improve on anything – get feedback (and be open to it!). If you’re leading a meeting or presenting your work, make sure to your audience what worked for them, and what would they improve on. Ask for any suggestions they might have. Test this out and find out what helps you. Showing your employers that you’re eager to learn and improve, the more opportunities you will be given.

Stay interested

Staying on top of the current happenings in the industry you work in will help you stand out from the competition. Study your industry and connect with people in your industry. Develop thoughtful insights about the industry and your company. Spend time reading and reacting to blogs and follow leaders within your space.

Connect with your colleagues outside of your department

Everyone is spread thin these days, and following this tip will give you the edge. Take your time to understand the organisation by proactively building relationships with people outside of your departments and within different levels of the company. With this knowledge and awareness, you can bring people together and understand communication and process breakdowns. This helps you understand what the challenges and opportunities there are and makes for better synergy across departments.

We hope these tips will help you power up your career and take on 2023.

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