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I recently had the chance to sit in on an Early Talent Career Development Panel during SAP’s People & Diversity Week, which is a week-long offering of events and workshops focused on career development, health and diversity celebration. Not only was the session a huge success, with over 80 in-person and virtual employees attending, but more importantly the speakers were all very passionate about supporting employees with their career development and offered lots of valuable and insightful advice. I was so fortunate to be able to attend and listen in on their career stories and tips.
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While the session was promoted as an early talent event, the career advice and best practices shared throughout were extremely useful for seasoned employees as well. Here are the top 6 tips I took away from the session!

Tip #1: Be Ready

Always be ready to take on that next opportunity. Have courage and don’t be afraid to fail because you never know where it will take you.

Tip #2: Build Your Brand

Create yourself as an expert in whatever you do. Make it visible to the right people through your work and networking. Know who you are and what you do, your dreams and aspirations, and connect with people who can help you or work with you to get to where you want to be.

Tip #3: Network, Network, Network

Networking doesn’t have to be hard! Find ways to integrate networking into your everyday life. Most of your co-workers should be open to meeting new people, so take advantage of that! Set up coffee chats, join employee networks and organizations, attend and participate in volunteer events and get yourself out there.

Tip #4: Know Your Passions

Think back to your past projects, what did you love the most and what were the things you know you never want to work on again? Reflect on your work and look for trends about your skillsets, preferred work environment, etc., to guide your career direction and development.

Tip #5: Learn From Your Mistakes

Don’t beat yourself up on failures because that’s how you learn and grow. Reflect on the issue and pay attention to what you learned, what to avoid if something similar happens again in the future, and move on. When mistakes happen, don’t start pointing fingers, be part of the solution and you can help turn the situation around.

Top #6: Take Ownership Over Your Career

It is ultimately on you to develop your career. Have open and regular conversations with your manager about your career development, ask for feedback on your performance, and be responsible for next steps. You have to be ready to drive those changes yourself.

At the end of the day, you are your best investment, so take time to invest in your career to achieve an amazing career!

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  1. Sven Ringling

    HI Grace,

    these are all very valid points – thanks for sharing them.

    What I’m missing here – and overall in the global talk about career – is the responsibility to develop actual skills. All the talk is about passion, being positive, courage, aspirations, and most notably selling yourself. And unfortunately, as an employer looking at the market my perception is that it is a trend not just in talk but also in action. Selling yourself becomes the most important thing.

    I would love to hear more along the lines “Identify where your passion and strength lie, build top skills and knowledge in that field and THEN go and sell yourself.

    How about suggesting to “really know your stuff” as one element of building a career? Some may take it as self evident, but unfortunately, it’s not.

    sorry for the little rant.

    As I said: your points are all valid and valuable – I just feel that, globally, careerbuilding is becoming more and more of a show – without there being much of a show.

    best wishes

    SVen

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