Back to Blog 6 Proven Career Development Strategies Blog Share Share on FacebookFollow us on LinkedInShare on PinterestShare via Email Leveraging Career Development for Career Growth Are you seeking ways to progress in your organization? In today’s rapidly changing job market, professional advancement is crucial, and career development and growth play a vital role in achieving it. Career development is the act of enhancing your workplace skillset in the short term, while career growth refers to the overall progress of an individual’s professional life. Simply put: to advance in your career, you need to equip yourself for it. At the University of Cincinnati Online, we’re committed to helping you acquire the skills you need to steer the course of your career—because the more you take charge of your professional development, the more you can influence your professional growth. Below, you’ll find our top six strategies for effective career development to help you thrive in an unpredictable economy. 1. Learn Pertinent Skills In today’s fast-paced world, technology is advancing rapidly, industries are constantly changing, and there is a growing need for specialized skills. To achieve career growth, it’s crucial to regularly pursue professional development by keeping track of industry trends and obtaining relevant certifications—which is why UC Online established the Business Partnership Program. Designed to help you earn your degree, gain the skills your company needs, and open doors to new opportunities, this program offers tuition scholarships for over 100 of our online programs. Because life is about opportunity, and it’s your turn to get ahead. 2. Network In Your Industry Networking is about more than meeting new people; it’s about maintaining existing relationships by staying in touch with contacts, sharing updates on your work, and offering support. Building industry relationships opens doors to new opportunities and facilitates the exchange of ideas and best practices, aiding in career growth and professional success. By joining UC Online, you can expand your network by connecting with professionals and peers from across the nation, all from the comfort of your home. 3. Cultivate Your Soft Skills When evaluating internal job candidates, employers often look for soft skills that demonstrate their ability to collaborate with colleagues and adapt to new challenges. Cultivating your soft skills is essential for building strong relationships and effectively solving problems, allowing you to make valuable contributions to any organization. Knowing how to showcase them on your resume, exhibit them during an interview, and cultivate them at work can enhance your chances of progressing in your career. No matter what course of study you choose at UC Online, you’ll develop soft skills while working toward your degree, including communication, leadership, and time management skills. 4. Set Clear Career Goals Where do you see yourself in five years? What about ten? Setting goals is a key step in the career development process, as it can help you prioritize what you want to accomplish and the steps you need to take to get there. Planning for the future can not only aid you in your personal growth but also demonstrates to employers that you’re dedicated to your job. And as a University of Cincinnati Online student, you’ll have access to the tools and resources you need to actively reflect on what you’re learning so that you can go further, faster. 5. Find a Mentor A mentor is someone in your field who guides, advises, and supports you to help advance your career. They typically possess specialized knowledge and seek to help their mentees—who have less industry experience—acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve their career goals. This often involves focusing efforts, setting goals, and providing feedback. At UC Online, most mentoring relationships involve our committed faculty members who offer information, guidance, motivation, and access to additional mentors, peers, and industry networks. 6. Take Ownership of Your Development Assuming responsibility for your professional growth exhibits qualities that your employer may seek in future candidates, such as ambition, self-motivation, and a proactive attitude. Schedule a meeting with your supervisor to discuss educational reimbursement through UC Online’s Business Partnership Program. Regardless of your chosen career path, it’s crucial to lean into lifelong learning as it will advance your skillset, expand your social circle, and reignite your passion. Further Your Future While the terms “professional development” and “professional growth” are often used interchangeably, they have distinct meanings: career development is achieved by building skills in the short term, while career growth is the big picture, the overall progress of someone’s professional life. By having a clear understanding of these concepts, you can develop effective strategies to advance your career and achieve your long-term goals. So, are you ready to get started? Explore our Business Partnership Program to discover how you can progress in your current organization with a degree delivered online from the University of Cincinnati. Or take the first step in furthering your future by speaking with your supervisor today.