Trying to manage your career? If you’re wanting to elevate the position you’re in, it’s time to buckle down on career development moves. Developing in your career can mean many things, but it should always start with the vision you have for yourself down the road.

As you manage the next future steps in your career, here are five ways to implement career development in the process.

1. Create Realistic Goals

To know where you want to go in your career, you must create aspirations for yourself. Think of your long-term goals and where you want to be in the future. If you want to become CEO of the company you work for, set that as your long-term goal with actionable short-term goals in the process to that point. Your goals become your actions if you have everything laid out and know exactly what you want to accomplish and how you plan to accomplish these goals.

2. Educate Yourself Along The Way

Getting to where you want to be in your career starts with education. It’s important to utilize the tools and resources you have for career development within your company if services are offered. If not, then outside trainings, certificates, and programs can teach you the skills you need to make your long-term goals more achievable to get to the step in your career.

3. Ask For Feedback

Career development is also about refining how you are as a current employee. Getting feedback from your boss and current colleagues about your performance and what you can do better can make you determined to sharpen your skill set and performance. If you have certain visions for yourself in the future, having a conversation with your employer can be key to setting your goals in place by indicating your intended plans and hearing how to best accomplish them.

4. Build Your Network

No one says you have to accomplish your goals by staying in one location. Building a professional network can open you up to a work of possibilities for the next steps you would like to take by connecting with other professionals. You can also learn from your connections to adapt new skills or how to perform better where you currently work. Your network says a lot about who you are as a professional and where you are going in your career. While it’s scary to connect with new people, it’s a must for achieving your career development goals.

5. Consider All Opportunities

Finally, you should consider all opportunities that come your way, even if it isn’t exactly what you wanted. There can be discomfort in taking risks with opportunities you haven’t envisioned, but then again, playing it safe can also derail you from achieving what you want to achieve. Whether it’s a new position in your current place of employment or a new one, you should weigh out all pros and cons to make the best decision for your career.

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