Careers, as necessary as they are, tend not to develop themselves unless you are really lucky. Sure, we might see nepotism from time to time (such as when the child of a famous actor somehow starts appearing as the lead in big-budget films), but it’s true to say that for the most part, skills, experience, and reputation will get you to where you need to go.
Giving your career every possible avenue of growth, then, is an important task to manage, and is sometimes as much about what you don’t do as what you do. First, it’s important to have a set destination that is firm, but not inflexible. This can help you pivot your approach should you really wish to, but also give you the chance to invest your time in a willing direction.
It also means taking the initiative, and not turning your nose up when potential comes knocking. Without further ado, let’s consider the three most essential components of growing a career, and perhaps most importantly, designing what a great career should mean to you:
Learn Around Your Subject
Learning around the topic of your given subject can make a tremendous difference in helping you contextualize it properly and learn more about such a discipline. For instance, a budding production designer for film sets and theatres would no doubt benefit from reading deeply into lighting and staging, ensuring that all tangential disciplines related to their specialism is considered. It might be worth assessing which topics are relevant to this degree in your own career.
Take Placements Seriously
Take career placements seriously, they can make a major difference in how well you build your reputation, the on-site experience you earn, and the recommendations you may receive after the fact. Using a service like RotationsPlus for medical students, for instance, can be a fantastic way to show initiative in your given career and learn career skills you cannot learn elsewhere outside of placement. Volunteering for similar initiatives at your own workplace or educational discipline could work wonders too, be that taking an exchange year abroad, or applying for a first aid tuition course or public speaking seminar. Placements are opportunities, through and through.
Never Turn Up A Worthwhile Opportunity
Never turn up a worthwhile opportunity. It can make all the difference in terms of how you regard yourself, how you network, and how such potential develops. You never know what adventure a certain ‘yes’ could bring you towards, or what chance to round off your professional capabilities could give you. Think of a would-be director saying ‘yes’ to working as an extra on a local film set – they might not want to be there for that particular role, but they get to see the inner workings of a real-life film set and benefit as a result. That makes a difference.
With this advice, you’re sure to give your career every possible avenue of growth, and benefit your approach as a result. You’d be surprised of the accruing benefits this can promote.