12 tips for career development and advancement

Career development helps you assess where you are now and set career goals for where you want to be.

In the ever-changing job market, you can still be looking for career growth opportunities to help you get from where you are, to where you want to be. Those career goals might be seeking a raise or promotion, improving your skill set, switching careers, or expanding your professional network. Whatever your goal, here’s some career advice from four Intuit recruiters who recently shared how to set yourself up for successful career development.

Watch the full webinar recording here.

1. Map out your career goals.

Be intentional about where you want to go – both from a company perspective and job title perspective. Then create a career path action plan on how you can make that career advancement happen. The more you network with people both inside and outside your company, the more clarity you’ll get. Move out of your comfort zone to network with someone whose area or company you’re interested in. 

2. Share your career progression by being your own brand ambassador.

Reflect on your strengths, skill set, experiences and accomplishments – both paid and unpaid. Write about yourself and your work on your LinkedIn profile, resume, and other professional spaces. Sandra Abdelmaseih, senior university relations recruiter, encourages, “Why not celebrate yourself? Recruiters notice candidates like that.”

3. Optimize your LinkedIn.

Update your professional profile with your latest achievements, soft skills, and technical skills that recruiters can then use to find you. Be active on your social media feeds by publishing your own content. Gabby Woody, university talent attraction manager, says, “​​I always note candidates who are sharing their work on LinkedIn. Whether that’s your side project, something you achieved at work, your portfolio – put that in the newsfeed.” 

4. Try out an AI tool like ChatGPT to improve your resume.

These tools can give you good starting points to draft or enhance your resume, LinkedIn sections, and cover letter. Patricia Uche-Chiemeka, senior recruiter, says, “Don’t just have one resume fit all positions. You want to tailor your resume for each position you apply to it.” It might sound like a lot of work but it can help you get through the door and AI tools can simplify the process. Remember to still take the time to edit and personalize for the best resume.

5. Join an employee resource group.

These groups can help you find like-minded people at your current job and take on professional development work that you’re passionate about that’s also valued at your organization. These groups are usually based on culture, age, gender, religion, or other identity-based affiliations and often have networking events too.

6. Seek out a promoter for your career development.

You want people who will speak highly of you when you aren’t around. Think of these people as your professional promoters who’ll advocate for you in your current role and recommend you for new responsibilities, projects, or a promotion. Charles Martin, talent acquisition manager, asks, “Who’s talking about you when you leave the room? Who’s talking about the work you did? Who’s a promoter of your work, your skills, your abilities, your solutions, your ideas? If there’s nobody talking about you, then you need to realize who are those people to get in front of.”

7. Recently laid off? See it as a professional growth opportunity.

While layoffs can be surprising or painful, they can be used as a springboard to find a better opportunity. There are online crowdsourced lists where job seekers can add their names following a lay-off.“Recruiters are constantly going through those lists for roles, and don’t look or think twice about you being laid off,” says Woody.

8. Grow with apprenticeships, bootcamps, online certificates, or training courses.

You can find a wide range of professional development programs to learn new skills, often offered by various companies, nonprofits, and agencies. Intuit offers the Intuit Career Pathways apprenticeship for underrepresented groups to get a job in tech and Intuit Again returnship program for people who took time away for family caregiving or other personal responsibilities.

9. Get feedback to grow your career. 

Ask current or previous colleagues, peers, mentors, and managers for documented feedback when you complete an important project. Don’t wait for the formal performance review process.

For any feedback or compliments you receive, don’t let them get buried in your inbox. Create a separate folder to organize all related information. Also remember, getting feedback should inspire action on your part. If someone is taking the time to tell you how to get better, it’s up to you to take those steps.

To enhance your LinkedIn profile, you can also ask for people to write a LinkedIn recommendation for you or endorse your skills. Be sure to return the favor and make this a regular practice for yourself.

10. Network with recruiters.

If you apply for a job, you can use LinkedIn to find and message recruiters. Add them into your network and comment on their posts with relevant insights. Abdelmaseih says, “I personally find that if I notice someone who’s actively engaging with me, I’ll usually remember their name and start to follow up.” If you don’t make it past the interview, ask your recruiter for specific feedback. 

11. Don’t ignore university career center services.

Whether you’re still in college or graduated years ago, career services are set up to help students and alumni navigate their career options and new opportunities. In addition to meeting with a career advisor, these centers can also connect you with job fairs, workshops, specialized advice, and a new network of openings to help you find a job that suits you.

12. “No” is just an acronym for “next opportunity.”

Remember this the next time you don’t hear yes. “When you hear these no’s all the time, it can get very frustrating. But you have to take it as an acronym, not an actual word,” Martin recommends. Use this as a chance to make one final positive impression. Saying thank you, asking for feedback, or reiterating your interest in the company puts you in a good position for any potential openings in the future.

Regardless of where you are in your career, you can look for career opportunities! Intuit is committed to creating an environment where employees are empowered with tools, resources, and career advancement opportunities to learn and grow.

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