Career development is an ongoing process that you and I must plan. These career development questions below can be a useful starting point in creating a plan to grow your career.
Hereunder are 10 top career development questions to ask yourself:-
What is my overall career vision?
A career vision gives you and I clear direction. Career vision acts as a compass which steers your every decision. These decisions entail what job that you should take. What opportunities you should embrace or reject.
Are there any skills gap that needs to be closed to be able to achieve a goal? There should be regular introspection to ensure that your current career path aligns with your overall career vision.
What areas do I need to develop that could get me to my vision?
A review of one’s vision against current position tends to reveal gaps. It is paramount that these are identified and actionable steps created to close them. As an example, if one of your career goals is to create a blog, then taking a blogging course may be the next actionable step.
Furthermore, consider whether you need to enlist the help of a mentor. In any goal that you need to achieve, a mentor could help you get there faster. Examine who is in your circle or how you can extend your circle to find a mentor.
A great mentor need not be face to face. Explore other persons whose lives can impact you. Consider reading their books and copying their patterns and habits.
What activities/ skills do I love using?
Understanding what activities and skills you enjoy using is an essential career question to ask yourself. Our career forms an important part of our lives. You and I spend several hours each day working.
If you are working doing an activity that you enjoy this could make all the difference to whether you fail or succeed.
Therefore, self-reflect and examine what activities you enjoy doing. Look for ways that you could incorporate them into your career.
What is my dream job?
Your dream job is any role that you would love to do even if it was for free. It is a job that you can be committed to in good times and difficult times. Understanding what your dream job is can assist in career planning.
Every career path has its ups and downs. Therefore identifying a vision which you love and are passion about will propel you to endure the valley experiences.
What type of work environment do I see myself in?
Are you a person who likes being in an office? Do you prefer interacting with people? Do you enjoy travelling? Answers to all these questions can help you determine what type of career might be suitable for you.
As an example, if you enjoy travelling then teaching English abroad may be a great fit. On the other hand, if you enjoy interacting with people, a role within the hospitality sector may be the ideal path.
Where do I see myself in 5 years time both professionally and personally?
This question ties into your overall career vision. Your vision should be divided into short term, medium term and long term objectives.
This question ensures that you look at your life as a whole both professionally and personally in your career planning.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time ensures that you dream about the future. Once you have captured in your mind where you will like to go, write it down and begin creating a plan to get there.
What are your objectives for the next 90 days? What are your plans, your priorities, your hopes? How do you intend to go about achieving them?
This question came from the work of the legendary leader Lee Iacocca which he asked during staff quarterly review while he worked at Ford.
Iacocca believed this helped keep employees accountable to their bosses and also to themselves. He indicated in his autobiography that this structure was successful because it makes one more productive.
Adopting this strategy from Iacocca which may not be a part of your review structure at work can benefit your career.
Dividing a 12 month period into 4 parts with clear objectives, plans, priorities and hopes for each 90 day period can help you move your goals along faster.
It also helps you to divide your big overall goals into actionable bite-sized steps. To motivate you even further, you may consider rewards for achieving each step of the journey.
What soft skills do I need to develop that could enhance my career?
According to Wikipedia, soft skills are a combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, character/personality traits that enable people navigate their environment, work well with others, perform well and achieve their goals with complementing hard skills.
You and I need to examine ourselves to assess what types of soft skills that we need to enhance which could benefit our career.
What new habits should I develop which can improve my career?
The habits that we practice help in creating our reality. If you develop a habit of exercising everyday, medically one reduces the risk of contracting certain diseases.
During his stay at Norfolk Prison Colony, Malcolm X developed the habit of reading which transformed his life after dropping out of school. He also improved his penmanship and learnt new words at prison.
He copied the dictionary unto tablets which built his vocabulary and improved his handwriting. The habit of reading in prison equipped him to become a historic leader in the civil rights movement.
He described the experience in prison as:-
“I never have been more busy in my life. I still marvel at how swiftly my previous life’s thinking pattern slid away from me, like snow off a roof. It is as though someone else I knew of had lived by hustling and crime. I would be startled to catch myself thinking in a remote way of my earlier self as another person” (p.170).
What hobbies can you adopt to assist in my personal and career development?
Hobbies play such an essential role in our career and personal development. From a career perspective, hobbies help you create work/life balance as you get to do an activity outside of your job.
Inadequate work life balance can lead to stress and job burnout.
Professionally, hobbies can also help with networking as you engage with like-minded individuals which may connect you with career opportunities.
From a personal viewpoint, hobbies help in career exploration. One has the freedom to dabble with various career paths through a hobby which is an informal channel. If you do not enjoy an activity you can stop and pick up another.
On the other hand, in a working environment, changing jobs too often can raise many questions with potential employers. You may be viewed as a job hopper which in some industries could be deemed as negative.
If you found this article valuable, you may also benefit from other career development content on this blog. Feel free to click any of the following links below to explore:-
The 5 Stages of Career Development and How To Succeed In Each Stage
14 Top Career Development Goals
10 Top Career Questions To Ask Your Manager About Your Career Development
Our career journey forms an important aspect of our lives. Hope these 10 career development questions are useful to you during as you navigate your career path.
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