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Career Development and --


									?Developing a successful career doesn't happen in an instant. Although you can focus
on setting up the big breakthrough that might alter the path of your career in an instant,
we plan for and depend on a much more constant rise towards the achievement of
being known as a high value 'asset' to businesses.

Once you've set your sights on a long term career goal and established where your
strengths lie, progression is as much about career development as it is putting in the
hours. Career development requires planning and commitment - have you decided
what you would like people to think about you? Are you working on assignments that
move you closer to that? Are you participating in the right networking events,
contributing in the relevant environments? All of these actions require you to take a
long term view on your career - they may not result in immediate reward, but they do
give a supportive halo above your day-to-day activities.

Perhaps the ideal way to think of your career is as a living organism: it needs to be
cared for, nurtured and fed. If you leave it neglected and rely on it to just grow itself
and 'happen', then you may find yourself being last on the invite list, side lined for
promotions, and gazing out the same window for the next twenty years. Career
development requires you to be proactive and to take positive actions to ensure that
you end up where you would like to be. It needs you to guarantee others think of you
for the latest roles, for speaker slots, and for boards.

The early years of career development, although hard work, effectively take place for
you: you choose which subjects to focus on, select the university course that ticks the
right boxes, and head into a graduate scheme or your first role... more often than not,
your early contribution will be the legwork, and your reward will be average pay but
hopefully relevant experience and the chance to learn. This stage should be relatively
easy to handle - you work hard, you soak up information and you impress as many
colleagues and clients as you can through your commitment.

What's your XYZ?

From here on it gets more challenging. As you become more expensive, you need to
carve out a 'brand' of your own. You move away from being another ambitious and
enthusiastic young professional to "someone who XYZs". It's essential to take control
of what other people perceive to be your "XYZ", as it helps you get opportunities
through word of mouth and it helps you to build a reputation in your sector outside the
people you know.

One of the important aspects in developing any career is being able to illustrate that
you're great at what you do. And demonstrating is important - don't expect that people
acknowledge your brilliance outside of your immediate project groups or company.
Raising the visibility of your added value through practical means such as industry
panels and white papers, but also utilising online tools (such as Slideshare, Twitter or
through blogging) is vital. What's more, recognition in one area has a multiplier effect
elsewhere - building a reputation amongst your audience as being the individual to
talk to about a certain aspect of your business, heightens how you are looked upon
across the board.

One of the most accessible and highly effective career development tools is Deskarma.
Through developing your participation on Deskarma you can contribute your
knowledge and your specialisms with the wider world. Deskarma allows you to
develop clear aspects of expertise and - assuming you do know your subject - your
peers will recognise your knowledge and assign karma accordingly, thus making you
and your opinion to be more visible, and giving you that all essential career
development kudos.

In pursuit of my true potential within every aspect of life, currently focusing on my
career development and professional reputation. Hoping to increase my karma
through sharing my experience and expertise, in turn providing me a little luck along
the way... :)

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