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As the school year draws to an end, many students are breathing a sigh of relief. No more classes, no more tests, no more learning. But in order for you to be the best employee you can be and have the best career you can have, learning should never end.
Learning is at the center of every career development plan. When thinking about your career development you should take into account your career interests, the needs of the business and the skills you need to improve or learn in order to be successful in your career. When you develop your plan, make sure it is realistic and achievable and something you can start to work on immediately.
In order for your development plan to be successful, it should be created and owned by you but have the support of your manager and the organization. It should be customized to your career interests and goals and it should incorporate a variety of learning opportunities including on-the-job activities, job shadowing, mentoring, seminars and reading.
Development occurs by learning through education, learning from others and learning on-the-job. Most career development happens by learning on the job so make sure your development plan includes different on-the-job activities that will help you learn new things and allow you to practice new behaviors. Add activities that push you beyond your comfort zone to challenge you in your existing job. With the guidance of your manager, monitor your progress and update the development plan regularly as your interests or business needs may change.
Always keep in mind the development planning process is an opportunity to build on your strengths rather than solely focus on areas for improvement. As Peter Drucker the “founder of modern management” said “You cannot build performance on weakness. You can build only on strengths”.
SVP, Human Resources
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