Some individuals think that career development is a personal responsibility. Others see it as the responsibility of the employer.
To me the responsibility for career development starts with the individual and evolves into a partnership with the employer. From the inception of my career, I took responsibility for my personal and professional growth. My efforts led to four major promotions. As a branch manager, I’ve seen first-hand that standing still in any job, regardless of your position, means becoming bored and demotivated.
Here is how I’ve maintained a rewarding career and secured major promotions.
- Self-awareness and regular reflection: I took the time to get to know myself and my career ambitions. I made an inventory of my natural strengths, skills and capabilities. Additionally, I researched the competencies need for my career path, shared my aspirations with my supervisors and began acting as a leader.
- Continued learning: To accelerate my career, I sought out formal learning and development activities. This allowed me to be smarter, wiser and more strategic about how to better manage my career.
- Invest in the right relationships: I intentionally built relationships with key leaders. I consider them to be my personal advisory board who assist with guiding my career goals. My circle of influence also helped to curate my management style.
- Built and refined my Brand: I prepared and refined my elevator speech many times. I also established a professional presence by taking opportunities to display my skills at meetings, training sessions, conferences and so on.
- Create balance between my personal and professional life: To me, success is achieving your personal and professional goals without having to sacrifice either one. To achieve professional success, I created balance between my professional and personal life by participating in activities separate from my career. This broadened my observations and appreciation for new types of ideas and ideals.
The strategies described above can help you to be more strategic with your goals and aspirations.
Malissa Lewis serves as the Chief of the Loan Repayment Branch in HRSA’s Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW). She leads a team of nineteen analysts who work to strengthen the healthcare workforce and build healthy communities through the administration several workforce loan repayment programs.
Prior to the Loan Repayment Branch, she served as a section chief in the Division’s Scholarship Branch. Malissa has over 11 years of public health experience and leadership experience.