May 3, 2011

Spring: A Time for Growth

The ground is thawing, flowers and trees are blooming, the world is turning green…it must be spring! I see spring as a time for growth, for renewal and for fresh approaches.  To prepare for a fall harvest, you must also prepare the soil and plant in the spring. Crops will not grow overnight so it takes advance preparation to reap the rewards of a bountiful harvest.
How does this concept translate to the workplace? Spring is a good time to examine your career and skills for renewal and growth. Starting the preparation process early ensures that when “opportunity knocks” you are ready for the opportunity.
A colleague of mine, Jane, was frustrated that whenever her next opportunity was posted internally, she did not get the job. She asked for feedback and was told she needed to finish her degree in business and show leadership skills. Jane was determined that the next time she would be ready. To start her growth, she enrolled in college and volunteered for special projects at work that would show her leadership skills.
My nephew Samuel is graduating from high school. He would like to become a medical technician. Samuel researched the best schools in his area to receive training and also asked employers what they look for in technicians. Armed with this information he now has a plan to get a job he will love in four years.
To get ready for your future opportunity and achieve future growth, create a career action plan. Here is a three step process with questions to begin your plan:
1) Analyze Your Career: What do you like about your job? Are you satisfied or are you ready to move to your next opportunity? What other job would you like? What is your next logical step? What skills will be needed for your next step?
2) Analyze Your Skills: What are your current strengths? What strengths do you have that can be applied to your next career move? What skills need strengthening for your current and future career step?
3) Build Your Skills: What training and development opportunities does your organization provide? Do your career goals include a degree or professional certification? Your organization may provide tuition reimbursement.
What will you plant this spring to achieve growth in the future?

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