Strategies to Build a Meaningful Career
Every one of us has a certain number of years to invest in working and making a living. Having a job is fine, but creating a meaningful career will maximize your opportunities for success. To have a successful, fulfilling career requires that you continually plan, execute and review your career management strategies. You may be like many people in the workforce who only think about your current role or your next desired promotion. However, given today’s changes and uncertainties in the Federal workplace, you need to broaden your short term thinking and how you manage and grow your career.
Here are a few ways in which you can proactively work to broaden your skills and understanding of how and where you can use your strengths in your organization:
- Job shadow other employees in your organization to learn about different jobs.
- Explore lateral moves to broaden and deepen your experience.
- Attend classes and training sessions to increase your knowledge.
- Hold book clubs at work to develop knowledge, and share terminology, concepts, and team building with coworkers.
- Seek a mentor from a different department that you’d like to explore.
Above are some immediate actions you can take to broaden your career. However, succeeding in a demanding, changing workplace requires a strategic career management plan. Below are longer-term strategies to use when developing your plan.
- Actively engage your manager in a discussion about your career goals, and collaborate to create a career development plan, especially if this is not usually something done in your organization.
- Investigate short- and long-term skill requirements. If your goal is to be a Chief Information Officer, understand the education, skills, technology, and experience requirements, and develop interim career plans for achieving your long-term career goal.
- Increase your knowledge of career options by requesting one-on-one informational meetings with colleagues and managers. The purpose of these brief meetings is to gather information to help you make educated career decisions. People are generally willing to share their success stories and offer advice.
- Volunteer to complete challenging projects and assignments. One of the best ways to advance your career is to identify an organizational problem, propose a solution and work to implement the solution. By doing so you will not only increase your visibility as a problem-solver in the organization, but you will also expand your skills in the process.
Think of your investment in the development of a career management plan as a personal enrichment process: An investment that is always working for you because it focuses on making you a better person both in and outside of the workplace. The ultimate win is happiness in your work and your ability to be successful despite an ever-changing workplace.