You may be a person who plans their career path or you may be the spontaneous type. The latter is often a poor choice which could lead to a dissatisfying career. You should always have a clear path to know where you are going and when you are deviating. Even if you are a person that has a steady career growth plan – ask yourself: “Does my career growth plan really incorporate the proper skills development?”
If you do find gaps in this avenue, here are the essential category of skills you should definitely have in your career growth plan:
Knowledge of the correct tools
You may underestimate the power of tools in your work, which would be a grave mistake. Having knowledge of the right tools in your job could have the potential to make a 2 hour task become a 1 minute exercise. Efficient Excel spreadsheets, is one such example of this. Therefore, a good portion of your career growth plan should incorporate gaining skills in software, methods and tools that can make you more efficient. This makes it easier to cross transfer knowledge. For example: learning lean Six Sigma although broadly applicable to engineering can be applied to just about any industry.
Problem solving in your career growth plan
Building logic may not be as easy to learn as the other items on the list – however if you lack it, the chances of you progressing to senior roles is rather minuscule. What companies companies consider indispensable is strategic and first principle thinkers. Learn how to solve open ended problems. You need to be a able to apply logic to any environment – even if it is outside of your field of expertise. These are traits that CEO’s and Executives often have. They are able to ask the right questions and find a solution to even the most unsolvable cases. Add problem solving development to your career growth plan and you will never regret it.
Even the smartest minds without communication skills fail. For example: You may only hear of Steve Jobs when you hear the name Apple. You don’t hear of the guy that actually built the computer; because he was not the voice behind the Apple Brand. Steve Jobs is an example of an expert communicator who got people to listen and “buy- in.” You don’t need to be as good a communicator as Steve Jobs; however you should have some degree of communication skills. Add communication skills development to you career growth plan and learn to effectively communicate your ideas the right way.
Specialist knowledge is what confuses many millenials when they enter the workforce. They walk into the office with a shiny new degree; but they soon find out that it isn’t enough to make an impact in their career. Explicit knowledge is the stuff that universities teach you which is obviously important but valueless if not incorporated with the above tool-sets. Tacit knowledge is what you may get from university practicals but still cannot supplement that gained from years of experience or through a mentor. Specialist knowledge is something that you should continuously build throughout your career through reading books or attaining new qualifications; but make sure to mix it up with the above skills