15 Effective Pieces of Advice for Career Development

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 11 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Seeking career advice is a smart way to grow as a professional. By reflecting on ways you can be a better employee, you can start applying this advice to your daily work. Soon enough, your colleagues and employer are likely to take notice, which could lead to exciting advancement opportunities. In this article, we discuss the importance of career tips and share advice on career growth, helping you become your best professional self.

Related: How To Create an Individual Development Plan (With Template)

Why is advice on career growth important?

Finding advice on career growth is important because it gives you the chance to reflect on your career aspirations. Often, professionals get busy with their jobs and may overlook their personal passions and goals. By seeking effective advice, you're taking the time to think about how you can improve your career. Good advice can help you stand out as an employee, opening yourself up to promotions or new job prospects. Following career advice also gives you a chance to hone your craft and improve your professional reputation.

15 top pieces of advice on career growth

Follow this advice on career growth to open yourself to advancement opportunities and job development:

1. Be kind to others

There may be certain situations in the workplace that cause conflict and disagreements. Rather than giving into your emotions, find ways to resolve these situations in a tactful manner. Remember to always be the better person, as others are likely to respect you more for that. Likewise, make an effort to be nice to everyone you meet in the workplace. This gives you the opportunity to develop better connections, which can lead to job satisfaction and growth opportunities.

2. Find value in the connections you make

Networking is an essential part of advancing as a professional. Even if you meet someone outside of your industry, there may still be value in developing a professional relationship with them. Along with making a new friend, these connections may lead to interesting new projects or job opportunities. When going to networking events, bring along some business cards to hand out to people. When getting their contact information, make an effort to follow up with them after the event.

3. Show up early

Whether it's getting to work on time or being the first person at a meeting, showing up early is a sign of professionalism and strong time-management skills. If you need help getting places early, consider setting alarms for yourself 10 minutes before you need to leave. Likewise, when planning your day, give yourself ample time for all of your tasks. This helps ensure you get to places early and have a manageable workflow.

4. Think of yourself as a lifelong learner

You can continue to learn no matter what stage of your career you're at currently. When you learn continuously, you can gain more skills and become flexible and adaptable in your career path. A willingness to learn is an attribute that is highly valued in the workforce. While enrolling in higher education courses is a great way to learn, there are plenty of free resources too. For instance, books, podcasts, online tutorials and how-to guides are excellent materials to use.

5. Deeply consider your career path

About once a year, refresh your network, check out new opportunities and conduct salary comparisons. It's easier to make strategic career decisions when you have real data to compare to the benefits of your current job. It's important to know where you stand in your industry. You may also consider sharpening your knowledge of new industry trends each year to remain competitive in the job market if you ever choose to or need to leave your current workplace.

6. Search for the value in feedback or criticism

Each piece of feedback you receive can help you grow and further develop in your career. Try not to focus on the method of delivery or the person providing you with the feedback. Instead, do your best to stay positive and take the value out of the message you're receiving. Think about how you might apply this feedback to your daily work and how you might assess your improvement.

7. Cultivate perseverance

You may not enter a job and become a top performer right away. It's important that you continue to persevere and develop so that you can reach your career goals and become a top performer. For instance, if you're a writer and an editor continuously rejects the pitches you give for your article ideas, you may try refining and developing your ideas and re-pitch them to the same editor or a different editor.

8. Keep your promises

It's essential that you match your words with your actions. Employers appreciate employees they can trust and depend on to keep their promises. If you tell your team leader you can finish a project by a certain date, then take the necessary steps to finish the project accordingly. Relationships are essential to any business, and without trust, a relationship cannot be cultivated. Once you become accountable, you may notice that you attract those who you can also trust.

9. Ask the important questions

Many successful professionals have become successful because they ask important questions. Maintain a curious disposition and ask questions. Asking questions builds your knowledge and contributes to your learning process and development. You may also consider asking questions about things that are not directly related to your job title if you think it could help you gain a better understanding of your organisation.

10. Allow yourself to speak up

Meetings are meant for employees to share their thoughts and ideas on important topics that affect the business. If you have an idea or if you have a reason to believe an idea shouldn't be implemented, then you can mention it in a professional way with accurate data to back up your claims. You may also request a face-to-face meeting with a supervisor if you need to discuss a sensitive matter or ask for advice. When you participate and speak up, employers may notice that you care about your job and take it seriously.

Related: 10 Effective Communication Skills for Career Success

11. Dress for the job you want

Dressing for the job you want goes beyond the clothes you choose to wear. It includes the way you present yourself overall, such as your attitude, the way you address people at work and how you adorn yourself physically. These items can reflect how important your job is to you.

Related: Business Formal Attire vs. Business Casual Attire

12. Find a job you enjoy

Finding a job you enjoy is an essential part of achieving personal fulfilment in your career. While it may be challenging to find your dream job right away, gaining the right qualifications and experience can help you get closer to your career goals. When determining your career path, think about what kind of work can make you happy. While considering your salary is important, you want to make sure you can genuinely enjoy showing up to work each day.

13. Say yes to the things that challenge you

If you want to grow as a professional, try to accept challenges that come your way. Rather than asking someone else to do the hard work, try to do more difficult tasks yourself. Along with showing your employer your strong work ethic, accepting new challenges allows you to develop your skills and gain more experience.

14. Set realistic goals

When setting career goals, use the SMART method. This means that your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Using this goal-setting framework allows you to brainstorm goals that are ambitious yet realistic for you to reach. When setting your goals, anticipate any resources you might need or obstacles you may encounter.

Related: How To Write SMART Goals For Your Career (With Examples)

15. Let go of perfection

Sometimes, it's important to accept that you have a limited amount of time to finish your work. Rather than missing deadlines, you may need to lower your standards of perfection occasionally. While it's important to meet your work objectives, it's also important to have time for your personal life. By giving yourself more grace with your work, you can focus on producing quality results rather than stressing about each detail.

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