How to take control of your professional development

3. Consume career-focused content

Are you guilty of spending hours on end scrolling through social media platforms or watching cute cat videos online? While there is certainly nothing wrong with a little rest, relaxation and downtime on the web, professionals looking to advance their careers are strongly encouraged to spend their free time a little more wisely.

Instead of mindlessly scrolling through content that provides little to no value, we recommend actively seeking out career-focused content that can help take your industry skills and knowledge to the next level.

Luckily for you, there is an abundance of e-books, value-packed podcasts, videos and free articles online that can help you develop both soft and hard skills, no matter your profession.

To get you started, here are some of our favourite business podcasts to help you upskill in your downtime:

  • TED-Talks Business: This one is a must-listen for anyone running currently their own business or thinking of starting a side hustle.
  • How I Built This: A great resource documenting inspiring stories from founders and entrepreneurs across the globe.
  • Flying Solo: The perfect podcast for any professional interested in starting or growing a small business. Join host Cec as she talks with inspiring soloists and expert guests on all things solo, micro and small business.

4. Find a career mentor

Professional mentorship programs are on the rise – and with good reason.

By definition, a mentor is someone who gives advice and guidance to help someone reach their goals. Similar to a teacher or a coach, a mentor helps to guide someone who may be less experienced through the learning process by establishing trust and modelling positive behaviours.

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In the professional world, mentoring involves learning from someone who is more experienced than you or who sits above you on the career ladder.

If you’d like to gain insights into the world and responsibilities that may await you upon your career advancement, then finding a career mentor in your industry could be a great way for you to help tailor your own upskilling journey and better prepare for the life that lies ahead.

Finding a career mentor may offer the following benefits:

  • Introducing you to new professionals in your field, thus helping you grow your network;
  • Gaining honest feedback about your skills, strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement;
  • Acting as connection for future opportunities;
  • Being a reliable source for a letter of recommendation; and
  • Holding you accountable for your actions.

Whether you’re aiming for a promotion, pay rise, applying for a new role or navigating a delicate workplace dilemma, having a career mentor on hand will help you handle these moments with confidence.

At the end of the day, wisdom comes from experience, and seeking wise counsel from a trusted mentor is a surefire way to not just upskill, but also grow your confidence and self esteem in your profession.

5. Join a networking group

Last but not least, professional networking is a fantastic means of upskilling your current talents and skills as it opens you up to receiving new resources, industry knowledge, professional opportunities, and more.

Whether at in-person conferences, social appointments, or even by attending online events, networking in any capacity is a priceless tool that allows you to connect with like-minded individuals in your industry (both local and international), to further build upon your skills with new ideas, knowledge and beyond.

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Networking can help you to have your finger on the pulse of industry trends, exchange ideas and resources with peers, build your interpersonal skills and expand on your industry connections.

Whether we’re looking for a promotion, pay rise or simply looking to broaden your career horizons, upskilling is a vital tool for any business professional. We hope that this article has provided you with valuable insight into the many steps you can take to furthering your career by upskilling and we wish you the best in all your professional endeavours!