November is National Career Development Month
Join the National Career Development Month Challenge!
November is National Career Development Month! Join fellow Aggie alumni in celebrating through a month-long series of career-focused events and activities. Complete as many career challenges as you can for a chance to win a $25 Aggie prize pack.
What do the Girl Scouts and successful career development have in common?
The answer to this likely unexpected question is coming later in this post. But first, a little context. November is National Career Development Month!
It is well known that you should invest in your career to maximize long-term success. But just like we all know we should work out regularly for maximum health, most of us fall short. Why? Not having time is certainly a factor, but I find many people put off professional development due to apprehension over where to start and fear that what is required will be difficult. With literally thousands of resources, advice posts, workshops, books and other sources of career advice available – it is overwhelming.
As we enter Career Development Month, I wanted to share what 30 years of career coaching and recruiting has taught me is the best predictor of career success – having a network. Careers are not made in isolation. With the accelerated rate of new job creation and industry disruption, many future opportunities are still being created. Maintaining career relevance requires learning, unlearning, redirection, and pivots. Additionally, in a global job market where candidates may not be limited to any geographical area – it is increasingly more and more difficult to stand out when you apply online.
The one sure path to maximize your career options is to expand who you know and who knows you. An advocate is especially beneficial when you are making changes and pivots from a linear career track. Having an insider’s perspective, demystifying a job description, and having a recruiter or hiring manager look at your resume first before scanning the hundreds of other submittals, are all high ROI byproducts of a network.
To answer my original question, the Girl Scouts and successful career development are united in the emphasis on “Make new friends and keep the old.” If you have time to do one thing for your career in November – make it a commitment to add at least one more good connection to your network. The best relationships can be founded with shared interests and/or values and often begin when you give something first to someone else. Whether you rekindle a relationship from the past or establish a new one, nurturing your professional network will serve you well in your career and beyond.