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Getting Out Of A Professional Development Rut

Despite the many changes that the workforce has had to accommodate over the past years, there is one constant that should drive you: you should always be improving professionally. If you find yourself in a position where you’re not learning any new skills, becoming more competent in any fashion, or getting new responsibilities, it may be time for a change.

Talk to your employer about opportunities for development

Do you want to know how much your employer values you? See how much time and effort they’re willing to spend on growing you professionally. Talk to your employer about putting together a professional development plan. Mention opportunities such as skills you might want to grow or, if you want to climb the ladder internally, about opportunities for delegation or projects you can work on outside of your usual job description.

A good employer that recognizes your worth is going to make an effort to keep you around, which includes ensuring you are fulfilling your career goals. If they’re not doing that, then the last tip might be the one you need to read the most.

Train yourself outside of work

If you’re not going to get the professional development that you need with the help of your employer, then you may need to take it under your own initiative. It’s a good idea to get qualifications related to your current field of work  For instance, you can learn more about accounts in a more niche field if you want to continue a career as an accountant but not in the same position. Identify a potential niche that you might want to move into in your own field of work and identify the skills you need to build in order to make that move.

Work on your soft skills, too

It’s not just the hard skills that you need. If you want to make the move from laborer up to management at some point, then you need to focus on your soft skills too, such as communication, leadership, and time management. There are a lot of ways to grow communication skills, for instance, such as taking public speaking opportunities, working on your body language, and even doing research on business etiquette to make sure that you’re able to put your most professional self forward. If you want to move up that career ladder, then you will need these soft skills at some point.

Look for another job

If you’re stuck and going nowhere fast under your current employer, then it might be time to learn more about the other opportunities out there. If you can find a step up, that’s great. However, even a lateral move can be advantageous, if you move to a company that’s more likely to focus on your professional development internally. 

The worst thing that you can let happen to your career is to let it linger in a professional development rut. Hopefully, the tips above help you find the way out, up, and onwards to a brighter (and better paid) future.

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