5 ways you can boost your professional career in 2023
One great way to banish the January blues is to get proactive. While many of us may be tired of the cliché of making New Year’s resolutions only to swallow our bitter disappointment when we woefully fail to achieve the long list of items, it does not mean that making plans for the year is still not the best way to achieve real goals in 2023.
According to Forbes and the New York Times, it is far more important to make resolutions than not to make any at all. From the statistics and information gathered, it seems it is better to plan for the future you want rather than, for wont of a better expression, flail about in a fog and go where the wind takes you.
Most people are also familiar with the adage, “Shoot for the moon and even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars”. This can be interpreted to mean that it is better to plan for the best possible outcome than not to plan or aim for anything at all.
Some experts also believe that the goals based on a resolution must be structured or SMART, backed by a clear and realistic plan.
But how do you activate a workable new year’s resolution that will leave you feeling like you have reached a new level in your life or career within the cycle of the next 365 days?
While we cannot tell you how to reach the moon or tap on the stars (this is not an article about astronomy after all), we can give you a few tips that could potentially get you on your way to achieving some measure of success in 2023.
The first step in this process would be to take out a piece of paper and…meditate.
Wait a minute, you say, what for?
By meditation, we mean the process of sitting down and clearing your mind as you think in a calm and open way about all the things you would like to achieve this year. This can be in the form of a list, but it should be one that is based on a clear set of targets or goals.
This is no high-fangled new age tip, mind you, just practical steps that could assist you as you jot down what is important to you and what you truly want for yourself in 2023.
To help you along the way, here are five tips which can act as a guide as you map out your professional aspirations for your career in the infrastructure industry. Each tip also comes with an adage and some questions which may help you to better define how you can achieve your goals.
Adage: Until you value yourself, you will not value your time.
Take a few minutes to think about where you are in your career. You likely have a degree or a professional qualification which helped you start on your current professional trajectory or perhaps it has even led in recent years to your promotion. By taking time to evaluate your skills, knowledge and expertise, you can determine whether you will require new qualifications to reach the next level in your professional career.
This step would also apply to those who are just starting out in their career but are wondering how they can branch out into other departments or sectors but feel underqualified to do so. There are many options which would be beneficial in this regard. For instance, an internal staff review or a qualitative discussion on skills mapping might be useful.
Question: Do you need to broaden your industry knowledge or your own professional capabilities?
2. Further education
Adage: No knowledge is lost.
Gaining new skills or knowledge is always beneficial in the long run. By increasing or developing your knowledge base, you are not only giving yourself an added edge in a competitive marketplace, but you are also showing future employers or business partners that you are willing to learn and grow. Obtaining training new materials or subjects relevant to your sector can expand your knowledge-base and increase your problem-solving skills by providing you with new ideas for tackling a problem or challenge.
Question: Do you need to master new subjects or skills, and if the answer is yes, what kind of professional training can you sign up for?
3. Validate your existing skillsets
Adage: Working hard and working smart can be two different things.
After you have considered what you may be lacking in the skills or knowledge you need, or if you see that you have sufficient qualifications, this may be a good time to take the next step and get those skills validated by a professional institution.
As we all know, it is one thing to think you have the skills, it is quite another to prove on paper that you are qualified and able to effectively manage a big project, sign off the mega design work or take charge of a major construction build which must be completed within a tight deadline. If you are changing careers, it might also be hard to come up with the annual strategy for a new department you will be managing – even if you done this before but you have no written qualification which attests to this. Having such a qualification may also help reassure external parties who will be working with you on a project or maybe even make it possible to win the project bid. Gaining a professional certification which validates and highlights your competencies can also be a great way to demonstrate to the industry that you not only have what it takes but that you were willing to invest in yourself to prove it.
Question: How can you best highlight your existing skills and capabilities?
Adage: Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.
Sometimes, it is not enough to have the knowledge. There will certainly be times in one’s career where we need guidance from a seasoned veteran who has been working in the field which you are interested in excelling in, or from someone who can teach you how best to navigate unfamiliar waters. You cannot win a boat race without first knowing how to row efficiently. Mentoring could be especially beneficial to those who need to gain expertise in a field where trust, competence and innumerable years of experience may be invaluable to be able to effectively handle complicated or delicate assignments. One such example would be acting as a dispute board chair or as a mediator on a complex adjudication case, but you do not have past experience which also requires technical prowess or updated knowledge of applicable norms.
Question: How can you engage with others in the industry you are in so you can learn from aspirational leaders?
Adage: No man is an island.
If you are not already a member of an alumni or a grouping that meets on a regular basis, it might be a good idea to find and join a professional network. It is important to talk to your peers, industry experts and meet others who can share their professional experience with you.
Building new professional relationships through meet and greets can be a great way to start. Engage in conversations with a professional working in a similar field as you or even with someone who has experience in a different sector. This may open up new opportunities for problem-solving, brainstorming discussions or potentially, new partnerships. Conferences also have the added advantages of giving you CPD points which can be used for future certifications and can serve as a platform to network your way up the career ladder.
Question: Is there a seminar or conference that you can attend this year which would provide you with an opportunity to network?
So how can FIDIC help?
FIDIC is committed to upholding and advancing international standards within the infrastructure industry. This means that aside from various awareness-raising initiatives, FIDIC promotes capacity-building as part of its key values.
Part of this capacity-building includes certification. This is where FIDIC Credentialing (FCL) comes in. FCL offers five programmes which run several times a year. It provides professionals with the means to validate their skillsets, experience and technical knowledge. These are done through assessments or peer review that thoroughly test your expertise through the online exams.
To find out more, visit our website: FCL Programmes
You can also sign up to be on our mailing list and if there is a programme you are interested in being certified in, simply register when our applications open.
What are you waiting for? You now have a plan to make your resolutions a reality and not just dreams. You have the tools you need to change your life.
Get started today!