So, far, this year has been very exciting in the world of careers, with lots of ups and downs in how we work and which employers are hiring. However, what has not changed is the approach that you should take and the advice that you need to follow to remain ahead in the competition.
Here are some basic principles we saw in the past that you can use to improve your professional and career development in 2023 and beyond.
Having a comprehensive mentoring program that covers all aspects of a graduate student’s life helps. It offers social capital and opportunities to explore new career opportunities to graduate students who might not have the same access to prospects as other students. One approach could be to use an individual development plan to structure action plans, as well as to establish long-term, purposeful career, and professional development goals.
According to experts, International Development Programs are great tools for making mentors understand how a mentee’s ability, self-identity, and socioeconomic background – can influence their career and research goals.
Create a structured approach
A well-defined, step-by-step approach is key to success. A structured approach will help you stay organized and will ensure you do not miss any important action plan. While serendipity and planned events are not always reliable forecasters of success, they can play a key role in your quest for a career and job search process.
Inquisitiveness, optimism, industriousness, flexibility, and risk-taking play a crucial role in the path to success. If you choose to volunteer as an individual at places of your interest, it can also help you build a career. It helps you to associate with other professionals in the sector. It is vital to be open to new opportunities to upskill yourself, engage in new tasks, and meet new people.
It is very normal to have unexpected and undesirable things happen in a career, which may not look and feel good in the initial stages. It is important to learn how to overcome upsets and failures in your career and find out ways to know what you can do about it when it happens. Overcoming challenges teaches you to take risks and improve your skills in areas that were new to you. It makes you adaptable and resilient, which are necessary for a successful and sustainable career.
One way to handle new challenges is to plan strategically. People who think strategically can contest their assumptions and look at them from a different viewpoint before they decide on the next plan of action on their career path as researchers do. Therefore, it is a great thing to exercise in your career planning for your growth and professional development.
Stress management and adjusting to changes
Handling stress is a very essential component when you plan for the future. The necessity to strike a balance between job and family responsibility is also crucial. The question that you may have as students and early career professionals is, ‘For how long can I remain resilient?’ in response to the difficulties of being forced to adjust to changes. This is when you will realize, it is very essential to find a supportive community, like your organization, graduate school, or neighborhood. The advice and suggestions they offer are significant for your career and personal development.
Build experience beyond research
As the search for the next generation of leaders begins, it is vital for candidates with ph.d. and postdocs to build and gain experience and skills beyond their research activities. Therefore, internships and extracurricular activities are a great way to learn about different industries and develop new skills. These can help you find a job after graduation, and build profitable connections that can help you grow and further your career goals.
Participate in extracurricular activities and more
Extracurricular activities might be helpful to get access to external platforms to express your creativity, help build community, and find inspiration. It can also be a motivation for you to come up with creative and new teaching strategies and lessons. You can embrace a number of different strategies, like participating in graduate student organization activities, which can be very beneficial for developing your skills, nurturing different communities, and improving your own well-being.
Develop transferable skills
Teaching assistantships, that is learning to teach under the supervision of experienced teachers is a very useful option for students looking to develop transferable skills that are most ideal and suitable for many different career paths. Teaching skills are useful in many career fields. Even if it is not clearly explained or included in the job description, helping other people learn new skills is an essential part of countless jobs.
Create your professional brand
Be aware that having teaching abilities does not require you to restrict yourself from doing anything other than becoming a teacher. It is very important to build your professional brand image as it is a crucial component of your professional identity. You may be a teacher by profession, yet you may have skills that are useful in other areas. While transiting in your career path, you will realize, branding can assist people understand your key values, abilities, and influencers. So, use that information as effectively as feasible and create a brand of yourself that speaks for you as a great resource.
Dig into yourself for possible insights
But how will you identify and know your core values? Try following some effective approaches to gain insights into what motivates and inspires you. Find out what guides you through by breaking down the activities that you may possibly do on your own or with colleagues and friends. You will require to dig into your experiences for insights to know your needs, and your values, which can create ideas about your possible future.
Learn how to communicate
Communication breaks many barriers. So, learn to communicate your achievements and tell optimistic and career-relevant tales about your experiences and the value that they can add to a role. Communicating the story of your skills to others and your career prospects will help you build confidence as you explore, and achieve, your career goals. When you narrate an impressive story about your experiences, it is quite possible that people will connect that story with you. Ensuring that people pronounce your name effectively is an essential part of this.
Job search process
The job-search process is very important but more important is how you are doing it. It takes a lot of time and energy and some of this time is taken researching different career paths, looking for opportunities matching your skills and interests. Make sure, you start this process early in your academic program: by increasing your knowledge of diverse professions, job functions, and sectors. This will keep you updated as a search for new and emerging jobs enables you to learn a lot about the trends and also provides you with intellectual stimulation.
Staying energized is crucial for everyone at every stage of career building and more so when job searching is another challenge. Cultivate new qualities and adapt to a mindset of growth, accept challenges, and talk to yourself like you would to a friend. International students face additional challenges when they start a job search. International ph.d. students and postdocs should prepare themselves for diverse career paths and encourage their organizations to provide them with additional support.
Networking plays a vital role
Networking always plays a key part in professional and career development. Give yourself exposure, immerse yourself in new ideas, and connect to new people.
So, as we continue to look beyond 2023, it is important to review the above points as well as embrace the upcoming opportunities to help guide you on a successful career journey.