Time to reboot your professional development?
With every new year, comes new goals and challenges to face – and it can be daunting to do it alone. At the Royal Society of Chemistry, we’re doing everything we can to support you and your professional development for 2023, so we’ve collated advice for you to consider when you set those new goals for yourself.
1. Make your priorities clear
Your strategy and subsequent steps will depend on what your career priorities are, so taking the time to be transparent about what advancement means to you is a critical investment. This could mean that you may want to reach a certain salary or work towards a promotion, in which case you may want to improve your negotiation skills, develop current or new skills, or completely change roles and/or sectors.
2. Setting your goals
When you’ve decided your priorities, you can then set your goals. To set yourself effective goals, you should consider the following:
- Be specific about what you want to accomplish
- Set measurable and attainable milestones
- Make them relevant to your personal or professional life
- Set a fixed timescale
A great way to stay on track with your goals is to do a mid-year and end-of-year goal review. This helps you assess the progress you have made and measure how far you have left to go. It’s important you celebrate the work you’ve put in and all the advances you’ve made. This helps you stay motivated going forward. If you feel you have a lot farther to go than expected, then it is equally important to consider adjusting your expectations or timelines to ensure you can still achieve the goal(s) you set – resilience is the key and any problems you face along the way help your development.
3. Take a hands-on approach to expand your skillset
Push yourself to think bigger and expand on what is possible for you. Brainstorm routes for you to achieve your goals. For example, if you want to develop your role, one route could see you take on new projects or responsibilities to demonstrate that you can succeed with these tasks, whilst another route could see you changing organisations to develop your role.
You may even want to help your colleagues with their workload, which could lead to developing new skills if their job description is different to yours. Just make sure to set strong boundaries for your workload to ensure you don’t take on more than you can handle.
Make it a habit to consider multiple routes towards each goal you set for yourself to help you assess the best option to take.
4. Identify your key strengths
What are your unique skills, expertise, experience and personal qualities? Think of what you bring to the table and make sure to ask the people you work with; they can help you decide what your strengths are. This helps you understand what others value about you – this might be different to what you perceive your own strengths are, so make sure to do this action regularly as strengths change over time. Once you know what your key strengths are, ensure you promote them, so others are aware and think of you when opportunities arise.
5. If in doubt, seek support from the RSC
If you’re still unsure about what goals you want to set yourself, consider contacting the RSC Careers team, who are there to support all members with their careers and professional development. A member of the team can have a one-to-one consultation with you, where they will work with you to help you define your goals and work towards them.
There are also plenty of tools, services and opportunities available to you when you log into members.rsc.org to help you achieve your goals in 2023. Whether it’s starting your CChem application, developing your role, or getting involved in some sort of RSC or outreach opportunity, there is something for all our members.
We will be launching more products and services to help you with your professional development in 2023. Watch this space for exciting news in the coming months.