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Getting Smart About Professional Development

By: Victoria L. Rayner
Posted: June 11, 2008, from the October 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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When identifying what distinguishes you from other candidates, it is important to evaluate your weaker areas as well. What can you do differently in order to obtain more opportunities for career advancement? Ask yourself the following three questions.

  • When interviewing, are you responsive enough to make the interviewer feel confident that she is speaking to the real you?
  • Can you convince the interviewer that when you are face to face with the rest of the team, they will like who they see and trust you to collaborate with them?
  • What can you say that would make a potential employer want to hire you instead of other candidates?

Manage future career advancements

When thinking of your career, it is a good idea to evaluate it as an ongoing process with three phases: the opening, the middle and the final stages. The opening stage can best be defined as the discovery period in any career. Every effort should be made to learn as much as possible, constantly analyze your skills, increase your knowledge, and recognize and capitalize on your possibilities. The middle stage is a time when you should be well-positioned and fully enjoy your work experience. The final stage involves shrewd insight and deliberate precision, which are demanded of those who hold top positions of authority.

Make the choice

Regardless of where you are in your career cycle, you should think about how you would like to further develop yourself professionally. Whatever current circumstances you are experiencing, your efforts—or the lack of them—have resulted in you becoming the kind of professional you are today. By exploring the cause and the effect of your past career-advancement strategies, you quickly can gain an essential awareness of your motivations, influences and restrictions. It is only the frustrated and unfulfilled individual who accepts the idea that at any stage there is no hope of career progression.

The wisdom gained from past attempts has the power to erase hesitancy if you just tap into it. In order to be a forward-thinking career professional, you must have resolution. You must emphatically declare: “I just cannot accept what I am doing with my career anymore, and I will do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to recognize every inch of my true potential.”