By: David Peters
Just about everyone wants to advance in his or her chosen vocation. No one wants to simply stay put; everyone wants to get somewhere else. But few people really know how to make their own advancement happen.
Career development is not very complex – which is not to say that it is easy to accomplish. On the contrary, it requires a tremendous amount of discipline to be able to maximize the resources available to you, i.e., your time, money, and energy. However, once you have mastered the skill of using what you have to the fullest, you will be well on your way to personal growth and career advancement.
Here are a few things you can do in your quest for career development:
Read extensively. In many fields, reading is one of the best things you can do to educate yourself. An oft-quoted study shows that Americans on average read one book each year after graduation. Obviously, in a rapidly changing world, one book a year is not enough. If you expect to get anywhere in the world, you will do your share of study and research, if only in the subject area which apply to your line of work.
A large number of self-development professionals say that anyone who aspires to be a leader in their industry must read for at least thirty minutes a day. After all, they say, reading is to the mind as exercise is to the body. By keeping your mind sharp and by staying abreast of the developments in your field, you will have a decided advantage over those who simply do not bother.
Provide what is required. Whether you work for a firm or operate your own business, a fundamental principle is to give your customers what they want. If you are an employee, “giving the customers what they want” is really giving your boss what he wants, in terms of work productivity. If you operate a business, the principle requires no further explanation.
Always try to find out what is expected of you, and what people want to receive from you. As a business owner, this will mean conducting market research. As an employee, this will mean making a study of your company and finding the area where your unique skills are certain to have an effect.
Go the extra mile. Napoleon Hill, the famous self-help author, advised everyone to “go the extra mile” in everything that they do. According to Hill, when you spend an hour doing something you don’t have to do for the benefit of someone else, that one hour can be worth more than the rest of your day. Over time, a policy of going the extra mile will provide you untold benefits, and will do wonders for your career development.