career development
Career development

10 step guide to a thriving career development

Learn how to ensure a thriving career development. Build your career and move up the ranks with this awesome guide.

Let’s do something about your passive career development.

Career development is the way in which you manage your resources and skills to advance your lifelong work.

If you’re determined to succeed, then here’s a way for you to reap the rewards. Follow this 10 step guide to achieve all of your career goals..

Make a mental map of your career development goals

Do you have a clear vision of your greatest ambition?

A vision of personal success, unique to your passions, which fires you up with motivation as soon as you think about it.

Make a mental map to your greatest ambition

Apart from giving you inspiration, your ambition provides you with a destination to your success.

When you decide to go somewhere, what do you do? You think of your destination. Within seconds you see in your mind a mental map of the shortest path to your destination.

Achieving your greatest ambition is exactly the same. You need to visualize your end goal, then chart in your mind the quickest way to reaching that destination.

“If you’re working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” – Steve Jobs

Plan out your career development

Achieving your greatest ambition is not as simple as planning a trip to the beach. Nevertheless, the fundamental principle is the same! Sure, it will take a lot more effort – but it’s really that simple.

It all starts with picking a destination, then moving toward it with the path of least resistance.

Career development stages

Visualize your ambitions

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • Which obstacles stand in your way?
  • Which strategies will you employ to overcome those obstacles?

By thinking about your ultimate career goal often, you will start seeing your path more clearly. You will start growing toward it. Your personality will start gradually changing to accommodate your ambition.

Sleep 8 hours every day

I simply can’t get enough of sharing this tip. Sleeping habits play a huge role in maintaining peak performance.

Sleeping less than 7hrs on average causes:

  • reduced psychomotor abilities
  • inability to regulate mood
  • diminished concentration
  • forgetfulness

Sleeping more than 9hrs on average causes:

  • drowsiness
  • headaches
  • demotivation

Aside from these short-term side effects of sleep deprivation and oversleeping which can clearly affect productivity, the long term consequences are even worse.

According to a meta-analysis by Sleep Research Society, some of the adverse health outcomes for both lack of sleep and too much sleep include cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, respiratory disorders and poor self-rated health.

Respect the office etiquette

To ensure a robust career development, you need to be seen as dependable and professional.

“Talent means nothing if you’re not dependable.” – Frank Sonnenberg

In order for your to become known as reliable, you must display good office etiquette; both in your behavior and in your work. In this way, you will be taken seriously and people will trust you.

Office etiquette tips:

  • Be punctual
  • Do your job thoroughly
  • Keep your working area clean and organized
  • Maintain good hygiene
  • Greet people with a smile
  • Be polite and respectful

Work smarter

The best way to make your boss stand up and take notice is by producing above average results.

Hard work will get you slightly above average results. Working smart, on the other hand, will make you outperform expectations. Therefore, overperformance is your ticket to a booming career development.

Smart work tips:

  • Take advice and learn from more experienced colleagues.
  • Optimize your workflow by finding little ways to shave time off your routine.
  • Always do thorough preparation.

Applying these tips to your daily work will immediately improve your productivity.

Additionally, if you want more ways to boost your productivity, then click to learn how to stay focused. The article will teach you a powerful daily routine that will ensure you work at peak productivity every day of the week. Except for your days off, of course.

“Work smart. Get things done. No nonsense. Move fast.” –Susan Wojcicki

Upgrade hard skills

Hard skills or vocational skills, are measurable skills which make you qualified to do your job.

Depending on your line of work, your hard skills may be web design, writing, computer programming, accounting or any of the other vocational skills.

Improving your expertise is directly related to your pay grade. Therefore, consider investing some time and money into expanding your practical knowledge through continuing education.

Continuing education examples:

  • online courses
  • degree credit courses
  • non-degree career training
  • college remediation
  • workforce training
continuing education professional development

Aside from formal education, look for ways to hack your work assignments in order to additionally boost your results.

Take the time outside of your work to learn new tricks of the trade. Find lectures on Youtube, articles on Google, visit forums that are directly related to your improving your hard skills.

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” –Henry Ford

Improve your soft skills

You cannot go wrong by improving hard skills. However, soft skills are proven to be the main contributor to a rapid career development.

A soft skills study was conducted by the Stanford Research Institute International and the Carnegie Melon Foundation. The study states that “75% of long-term job success depends on people skills, while only 25% on technical knowledge”.

Soft skills examples:

Build a business mindset

Being a good leader is one of the most important soft skills. However, in business, it’s even more important to be a good manager.

What is the difference between a manager and a leader?

  • Leaders have teams, managers have employees.
  • Leaders inspire, managers control.
  • Leaders take chances, managers mitigate risk.

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” – Peter F. Drucker

Roles of a manager:

1. Plan

Take far reaching company goals and build strategies to achieve them at lowest cost to the company.

2. Set process practices

Set up work standards, rules and operating procedures.

3. Run the daily operation

Anticipate needs, do daily accounting and deal with problems.

4. Manage the staff

Make sure to do proper staff training and work supervision in order to achieve great results.

How to think business?

Strive to make smart strategic decisions for the benefit of the company.

To become truly great at making business decisions, click here to learn what is unconscious bias in business.

Negotiate your salary

In order to increase your salary, you need to bring increasing value to the business.

Your manager or boss will take your hard work for granted if you let them. To prevent this, you must negotiate your salary and work conditions.

“It’s important to stand up for yourself, otherwise somebody else will step in and say they did it.” – Jerry Bruckheimer

How to ensure pay scale growth?

Play the long game

Achieving a successful career takes time and consistent effort. For this reason, consistency with your daily grind is the cornerstone of career development.

Therefore, pace yourself on a daily basis, but always remain focused on your long term goals.

Position yourself for advancement

Volunteer to do the tasks that involve inventory, organization, accountability and other manager’s duties.

Doing business operation tasks responsibly will put you higher in the informal hierarchy. This, in turn, will position you to be promoted to an assistant manager.

Ask for a raise

In order to get a raise, you need to stop thinking about the raise. Instead, you need to think about what you can do to get more responsibilities.

That way, you bring more value to the company. The value you bring to your employer corresponds to how much they will appreciate you.

Therefore, if you produce above average results, you will inevitably have a good relationship with your superiors.

Eventually, you can use this good relationship to openly ask for a raise or promotion, with regards to all the value that you are bringing to the company.

Know your options

Consider the long term prospects of your career development. If you’re working in a small company with limited chance to grow, then consider changing your job.

Similarly, if you’re working in a toxic work environment, where you’re being undermined or taken advantage of, you should consider changing your job.

However, you may fear that changing a job is risky.

If this is the case, then read my guide on career transition. The guide will teach you all you need to know in order to suit your job to your career development goals.

Win at office politics

Office politics is messy business, the best solution is to steer clear of the workplace drama.

However, if you ignore it completely, then it will work against you.

In order to benefit from office politics, you need to make allies and avoid making enemies. This way, you will have a clear path to move up on the informal hierarchy.

Why do you need allies in the workplace?

Casual social relations with your colleagues will improve communication and benefit productivity.

This way, you will also win allies who will stand to your defense if a problem arises and brings your work into question.

How to avoid conflicts in the workplace?

Despite having an inner circle of friendly colleagues, it’s smart to remember that your colleagues are not your friends.

Some people will misuse office politics by gossiping, manipulating and other manners of coworker backstabbing.

Conflicts with coworkers are never a good thing; they bring about a lasting atmosphere of tension and cause anxiety at work.

Find a work mentor

We are social and practical learners. In order to learn a new job skill you need someone to show you the ropes and you need practice to learn the skill.

You need someone to guide you up the career ladder.

How to find a career mentor?

Your career mentor is often your direct supervisor. In larger companies, your mentor should be someone further up the ladder.

Your career mentor is typically in the company for many years. They would know the inner workings of your industry and the company.

You can learn a lot with the help of a good mentor. They also have the reach to pull you up in the ranks when and if you prove yourself worthy.

How does career growth really happen?

Promoting employees is rarely impartial, especially in large companies.

The upper management has meetings to evaluate employees. During the evaluation meeting, the various division managers reports on the members of their work group.

Even with a flawless work record, you still need someone important to vouch for your value. That someone – is your career mentor.


Set a destination, chart a course, work smart and get good allies on your journey.

Follow these steps and you will reap the rewards of your most ambitious career development goals.

Which of these tips is new to you? How will you apply these tips to your career development plan? Let me know in the comments below or e-mail me directly.


Let’s help more people by sharing these awesome pins!


32 comments on “10 step guide to a thriving career development

  1. I agree, I think it’s important to plan where you want to go career wise. You can’t really achieve something if you don’t know what it is you’re trying to do.I like your focus on soft skills. So often, people overlook these because they’re focused on more technical skills, more qualifications etc. But these things are important as part of working as a team and being successful working with other people.

    • Great takeaways Angela. A good career plan is like a road map to success. Many people neglect soft skills but they truly carry the biggest impact to your career development.

  2. You just put my brain to work… I should adopt this strategy for my career advancement! I will follow the suggestions you gave in the blog, this is some powerful stuff.

  3. I definitely need to bookmark this post for easy reference. I have to say that I operate at my best with 9 hours of sleep though. LOL! And boy does my skin ever look great then. But I usually get around 7. So I’ll have to work on that.

    • 7 hours of sleep is just fine, as long as you schedule some extra slouching for the weekend. It’s important to maintain your energy on the daily basis and avoid sleeping habits that disrupt your health in the long term

  4. Sania Ahmed

    I appreciate you putting all these points for a successful career… however I have noticed there are certain toxic work cultures where no matter how much effort you put in. All that is in vein and in the end your efforts are put to waste, biased decisions demotivate you.

    • You’re right Sania, working on your career development in a toxic work environment is like running in quicksand. In these situations, it’s time to consider other methods. Check out my related articles that focus on handling workplace problems and planning your career change.

  5. Indeed, career development rests solely on our hands. We have to make an active stance and not just put it in the hands of other people.

    • Great point Ivan, taking your career into your own hands is the only way to ensure career success. Thanks for the feedback!

  6. jeannette9712gmailcom

    Thank you for this quote. “If you’re working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” – Steve Jobs

    I just started doing what I love, after 40 years on this earth.

  7. Gervin Khan

    Wow, it was a nice and informative article to read. I agree with you that planning is important when you are pursuing a career and I think you will be successful from it if you also have vision and passion from what your doing.

    • That’s very well put Gervin. Having a vision and passion for your future are the foundations of successful career development.

  8. Great advice on career development goals. Many people are failing to achieve their career goals because they have a lack of focus. This is such a great post and it really helps!

    • You’re completely right, it’s important to maintain focus on your long term goals in order to ensure you’re moving along the right path to achieving your dreams.

  9. This is really a great guide for creating a successful career path! If you’re eager to succeed, you can make it!

    • Right on Jessa, where there is a will, there is a way! To me, being eager to make it is in the very core of a success mindset.

  10. The Lesson i’ve learned so far working in a workplace is to be competitive and not to be too chilled without developing your skills at work. take the opportunity to step up your game and most important is, take credits for all the projects that you worked on. Make your self visible as much as possible.

    • I couldn’t agree more. Competition is a hallmark of career building. Acknowledging your worth while humbly building skills is a winning combination for career development.

  11. xclusivefashionmeetslifestyle

    I believe focus is the first thing to be successful anything. and for career too it is the most important.

  12. I think focus is so important, and I appreciate all these step. Will pin this post so others can find help as well.

    • Thanks for the support Krysten! The ability to remain focused on your long term goals and your daily grind is a recipe for a successful career.

  13. Great tips for those new to the workforce. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, consistency is key.

  14. So glad I saw this especially as I am launching a career and I might be struggling with a few things. Thanks for the useful tips

    • Glad you found us Nelly, helping you make it is what this blog is all about. Good luck with your new career launch!

  15. Making the mental maps does matter. Then I write it down. I heard once that a thought goal is only a wish. A written one is a plan.

    • Great point Rosey, writing down goals makes a big difference in achieving goals in a larger time frame.

  16. To expand on your mental map part, I would recommend that you go ahead and put that to paper. It’ll seem so much more real if you can actually see your goals

    • Mental mapping is more about creating a vision for a long term goal. With that said, putting pen to paper is always a good idea, as it will make your goals more actionable. Thanks for the feedback Riana!

  17. Pingback: Free success planner | How to increase productivity in 2019 -

  18. Pingback: 3 types of good habits for an awesome life -

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: