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8 Steps to Becoming Better in Your Chosen Profession

These days, classic advice on advancing your career just isn’t cutting it. It’s no longer enough to simply work hard and show up on time, especially given Singapore’s rapidly shifting and highly globalised work culture. If you’re dead-set on becoming better in your chosen profession, here are 8 critical steps to achieving that in the present day.

1.) Keep Learning

As you grow into your career, you might find it a challenge to keep your skills relevant year after year. If you lose your edge, you may eventually find it difficult to maintain your progress. By keeping a positive attitude towards lifelong education, you’ll be better situated to excel in your chosen discipline, no matter your age.

An awesome benefit of being a citizen or permanent resident is the ready access to adult education programs such as the SkillsFuture Courses Singapore-based professionals can enroll in, with initial credit from the government no less. Such education initiatives by the Singaporean government and other local institutions provide skills development opportunities that can help you maintain your skills, allowing you to stay relevant in your field.

2.) Develop a Healthy Attitude to Failure

Failure is an inevitable part of life. Understanding how to leverage today’s failures into tomorrow’s triumphs is a defining characteristic shared by most successful individuals. By not excessively fearing failure and instead viewing it as a learning opportunity, you’ll be better positioned to take the initiative whenever you find opportunities to advance your career.

3.) Set Realistic Goals

Setting goals will help give your career direction and help give you a better understanding of what it is you need to be doing at any given time. Write down your medium- and long-term goals as well as the things you will need to do to accomplish them. By making this small initial commitment to your career, you can ensure that you have the context and the focus you need to do whatever it is you need to do.

4.) Find a Mentor

Mentors can give you an immense boost, particularly early on in your career. The ability to draw from the experiences of mentors can help keep you from making mistakes that your unmentored peers might make, giving you a leg up in your professional development.

Experienced mentors can also give you insights that may be unintuitive early on in your career, giving you a significant advantage in highly competitive fields. Mentorship has also been shown to improve confidence in mentees, which may help them when seizing rare opportunities that come their way.

5.) Give Yourself Regular Reviews

When you’re grinding away at your daily tasks, it can get difficult to take the long view. For this reason, it’s important to take time to periodically reassess your progress, especially concerning the goals you have set for yourself. You can do this as frequently as you can, so long as you do it regularly. By methodically checking your progress, you can get a better idea of whether or not you should be making course corrections in your career path

6.) Learn How to Delegate Responsibly

Behind every successful person is an entire village that made their success possible. However, harnessing the talents of others is also an art in itself. Knowing the basics of management, particularly how to delegate tasks effectively, is an inescapable part of most career paths.

By understanding which tasks to delegate, how to communicate your intent, and how to set realistic expectations, you can not only achieve your professional goals faster, but you will also be serving as a mentor to others, helping them achieve theirs.

7.) Maintain Your Physical and Mental Health

Your mental and physical states have a direct impact on your ability to make good decisions consistently. If you’re always tired, constantly on edge, or frequently laid out sick, then you may have to make a few lifestyle changes.

Make time to exercise, enjoy your favourite hobbies, and see a therapist regularly, if needed. By taking care of yourself, you can ensure that the decisions you do make are more likely to be effective and impactful in advancing your career.

8.) Create Career Mission and Vision Statements

Apart from writing down your goals, you should also be writing down your career mission and vision statements. The purpose of these is much like their purpose in startups— to provide direction and ensure that you are not making decisions that you shouldn’t. Having these in place will help you better align your resources and also help you understand your motivations.

If you cannot think of specific and actionable mission and vision statements, this may mean that you are not quite sure why you are on the career path you are taking. In this case, it may be worth reexamining whether your profession is right for you.

It’s Time to Advance Your Career

Becoming better at your chosen profession is often a matter of careful planning, committed execution, and continuous self-development. Fortunately, skills development opportunities such as SkillsFuture courses and other development opportunities are readily available to adult learners in Singapore. Whether you want to advance or pivot to an entirely new profession, you can be sure that things can get even better.

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