Focusing on Career Progression – Investing in Your Career and in Your Education

If you have always dreamt of taking your career to the next level, then think about what is stopping you. What is holding you back from growth and development, and are you investing fully in yourself? 

Why Career Progression is Important

You have a lot to offer within your role and position, and career progression should feel natural. If you are not focused on career progression then you will come to a standstill, and this will mean that you never get to realize your full potential. Career progression is important because it also helps you to maintain your drive and your dedication to your role. Career progression allows you to make a difference in your life as well as in the lives of others.

Knowing You Are Ready for Progression and Growth

There will never feel like a perfect time to advance your career and this is fine, and it is something that should be appreciated. Perfect timing will never be on the cards, but the right timing will always be there, and this is what you should be focusing on. Making the decision to progress your career can be made that little bit easier when you undertake a period of self-evaluation. Looking at what you are offering and seeing where room for growth exists is important. When you undergo a period of self-evaluation (no matter how short or long) you will then be able to see which path is right for you, when and why. Evaluation will give you clarity and it will give you the green light to progress.

Investing in Yourself

You are your best asset, and this is something that you should realize (sooner rather than later). When you see how valuable you are, you will then be prepared to invest in yourself. When you invest in yourself, you commit to improving who you are, what you do and what you offer. This is good for short term prospects, but it is also good for long term areas of focus too. Investing in yourself may take many forms. For example, investing in yourself could mean advancing your knowledge and awareness about your role or sector, or it could mean investing in building your skillset.

Building Your Skillset

As a professional and as you focus on building your career, it is important not to neglect your skillset. Your skillset forms a valuable part of your role, and to focus on progression you must focus on your skillset. Looking at where there is room for improvement is important because you do not want to start learning new skills if they are not going to be beneficial to your career or to your future. When it comes to building a valuable skillset you need to know which areas are important. For example, do you need to be an effective communicator in your role (and are you currently being one)? There are lots of skills you can master on your own or even within your workplace. You do not have to solely focus on learning new skills. In fact, you should focus on enhancing the ones you have first before you move forwards.

Enhancing Your Education

Your education will always form a big part of your career and to make the move to where you need to be you will need to invest in enhancing your education. Improving and enhancing what you have to offer and give is important. Enhancing your education can help you open up new roles and opportunities, and it can help you broaden your horizons too. To successfully enhance and advance your education you should always be looking at what you are getting out of a program or subject that you are studying. Remember that when you open up the doors to learning and development, you open up future potential and opportunities for you and for your career too.

Choosing the Right Program

When it comes to choosing the right program, you need to look at the syllabus and see what topics and areas you will be covering. Programs offered by colleges and universities can look similar, but when it comes down to it you can see that similarities only exist on the surface. To get the most out of a program, you need to look at what value or will add to you and to your role. When you can feel and see the benefit, then you can weigh up the options available to you.

Looking at Universities and Colleges

The program that you choose to study is only just one part of the equation. The other part is the provider, and when it comes to choosing a provider, you need to carefully think about who you will go with and why. Universities and colleges can look on the surface as if they offer the same programs; however, when it comes down to it, you need to look at what you are getting from a provider. For example, are you getting dedicated lecturers, are you getting experienced professionals and are you getting the opportunity to put your learning and experience to use? You want a provider that is invested in you and that cares about your future and development. If a college or university is not interested in you and your development, then you have to evaluate what you are going to get out of your time and your studies. You want an educational provider to be there for you, both when you are studying and after you leave too.

Balancing Studying alongside Life

When you choose to study you have to learn to balance education and studying alongside work and personal life, and this can be chaotic at the best of times. Working at getting a healthy balance is important and when you do this, you will get so much more value out of your studies. To help you strike a manageable balance you may find it beneficial to have a timetable that you work to.  A timetable can help you divide your time efficiently and help you maximize your time in the process. Learning to manage your time, and being decisive is important, because when you are decisive with your time, you focus clearly on what you want to achieve. You also need to share your experiences and thoughts with colleagues, and even with friends and family. It can be challenging at times when you are balancing many factors, and this is why it is always good to talk. 

Continual Education is Essential

It is important to commit to lifelong learning in any sector, but especially the healthcare sector which changes through technology, methodology and legalities. In the nursing sector you will find that continual education is necessary, to ensure that you keep up to date with changes and developments. It is worth pointing out that continual education can come in many shapes and sizes. For example, you could find that it means studying shorter length programs. You may also find that it means annual refresher programs. Continual education will help you grow as a professional and it will help you bring out the best in what you do and what you offer in your career. Investing in continual education is important because it is just the same as investing in your future. When you invest in yourself and in your career, you build sustainability within your role and career.

Mapping Out Career Progression

Knowing that you want to progress your career is one thing but knowing which route to take can be difficult. When you map out your career progression you have more control over what you want to do and by when. When you get started in a new job or role, you might find it challenging to decide which route to take. With a career plan to follow you have a structure to work towards and this is vital. A structure will cover where you are now and where you want to be within the next few years. It will allow you to look at the bigger picture, and it will allow you to manage your time and of course manage your expectations. When you are creating a career plan you need to ensure that it is fluid as changes happen, and you need to be able to account for this change and movement.

Retaining Momentum and Motivation

When you are focusing on your studies, or you are pushing your career to the next level, it can be taxing and challenging to maintain motivation to push yourself forwards. Over time you may find that your motivation may wane, and this may then affect your momentum. This will ultimately stop you from achieving the career and growth that you want. To retain motivation and momentum you must give yourself attainable and achievable targets to work towards. If you do not focus on setting targets, then you may well find that you will struggle to push through the tough times (which there will inevitably be). You may also find it beneficial to have a strong support network or system in place. Having people around you (including professionals, and even family and friends) will give you strength, determination and focus. Knowing that you have someone to reach out to at all times is key as this allows you to then push forwards with confidence.