Too often professionals rely on the advice of their management or human resources department in isolation to guide their professional development. While their feedback and guidance is very important to your performance at your present place of employment, if you rely on it in isolation you may be doing yourself a disservice. Management and human resource professionals often provide guidance in the context exclusive to the current work environment and use processes and tools that may not focus on leveraging your strengths and improving your weaknesses while guiding your development as an individual who will likely encounter additional career transitions—all of these are not, nor should they be their focus—you should own your professional development. This includes preparing yourself for the transitions you will likely experience throughout your career.
Take Responsibility for Development
Planning for the future, participating in learning and development activities or working with mentors are all possible options for you as you take responsibility for your development. Your developmental plans and investments should be designed to support the achievement of your short and long-term goals. Plan and work toward goals but remain flexible. Circumstances change and you need to be prepared to adapt your plans.
Perform at Peak Levels
Many of us know what it takes to perform at our best. Prioritizing and developing habits to sustain high levels of performance elude many. You can have stellar credentials including the experience, education and network to support you in your role as manager. You will most likely experience difficulty if you fail to ensure time for your health and wellness and family and friends. Community service and activities outside of work also tend to contribute to our overall effectiveness, even our effectiveness at work. Many also find spirituality or other related connectedness important as well. Find a mix of aspects and activities that contribute to your well-being and performance and build time in your schedule for consistent participation, adjusting activities as necessary.
Align Your Development and Performance for Short and Long-Term Impact
Responsibility for ensuring you meet or exceed performance expectations for your current organization lies with you. Most of us will eventually transition out of the workforce or at least transition from our current place of employment to another role. Take your career plans into consideration and ensure you meet current commitments while preparing for your future.
- You are responsible for your development and performance—not your supervisor, not human resource, only you.
- Developmental experiences can improve your performance and position you for opportunities.
- If you don’t currently have one, create and implement your developmental plan today. Your plans should evolve over time to support your needs and interests.