National Career Development Month is the perfect time to invest in career growth, set goals and take steps to advance your own professional journey, as well as guide students and clients you may work with to do the same. Let’s look at some strategies to consider.
Start with some self-reflection and self-assessment. Reflect on your strengths, weaknesses, values, interests and skills, and consider what you enjoy doing and where you want to be in your career. Encourage those you work with and mentor to take a career assessment. Continue with goal setting and begin with planning short-term, clear and achievable steps. Then look at the bigger picture and come up with a vision for how you’ll achieve what inspires you and what will help drive you toward that goal. Next, focus on skill development. Make sure you create a plan to acquire the skills you need for success in your chosen industry. Think about not only the hard or technical skills, but also soft skills. Hiring managers know that these “future proof” skills such as communication, teamwork, organization and creative thinking are critical for employees to thrive and contribute in the workplace. Finally, it’s the perfect time to review resumes, write cover letters, create or update your LinkedIn profile and practice interview skills.
KET Adult Education provides a useful online tool, Workplace Essential Skills, to help learners move forward and make progress in their career development. The Workplace courses are organized into seven high demand career fields that teach contextualized and targeted language and math skills, plus each course has a Job Search module with tips and templates for all stages of the job search. Additionally, a soft skills course addresses professional behavior and communication, working with a team and critical thinking. Content in Workplace Essential Skills, delivered at grade levels 7-9, is accessible to a wide spectrum of adult learners and is aligned with National Career Readiness Certification (NCRC) standards, GED Assessment targets and College and Career Readiness standards.