Applying discipline and making an effort to develop yourself is critical to climbing the success ladder in your career. Do you have a disciplined routine that will help make you a more effective employee, no matter what your industry? By blending discipline and self-development, you will discover that you are in a much better position to accomplish your overall career goals.

Look at Your Long-Term Goals

One of the first steps in implementing self-development and discipline to your career road is to create long-term goals. What are your ultimate, big-picture career plans? For example, if you currently work in IT, but want to break into cybersecurity, you will need a different set of skills than what you already possess. Likewise, consider whether there is a specific company that you would like to work for. When you have a long-term goal in place, you will have a better understanding of what exactly you will need to accomplish those goals and the type of skills required (soft skills and technical skills that are career-specific).

Create a Timeline

Part of the discipline associated with career advancement and self-development is creating a timeline. How long do you have to learn certain skills? Are there specific goals that you would like to reach by a certain time? Designate large milestones along the way, then write in smaller steps that can help you get there.

Make Networking a Priority

One of the biggest skills you need, no matter what career you are looking into, is networking. You need an extensive network of contacts that will ultimately help you reach your career goals, and you need to start building that network as soon as possible. Attend industry conferences and events. Check out local businesses in your industry and make connections there. Dedicate yourself to this task as though your career depends on it – because it could!

Work with a Mentor

A mentor can help you identify the exact skills you will need to break into your preferred position in the industry. A mentor is also a valued source of unbiased advice who can guide you on leaning closer to your goals and working towards those critical career skills. A mentor can help assess your progress and evaluate your next move, helping you move along your career path with ease.

Check-in Regularly

You’ve created a timeline and taken a solid look at your big-picture goals. Don’t let them get lost in the shuffle! Set a monthly reminder to check in on your goal progress and analyze how close you have come to them. Are you making the necessary growth, or are those big-picture goals falling through the cracks? When you set a regular appointment with yourself, you are less likely to let your career goals fall by the wayside.

Create Accountability

When you are accountable to someone else, you are more likely to accomplish your goals. If you struggle with self-discipline or are failing to meet your goals, consider making yourself accountable. Create a challenge with a co-worker/friend or check in with your mentor. This will significantly increase the likelihood of fuelling in that extra effort to make it work and stay committed to your goals.

Develop Consistency

You know what you need to get done, but somehow, you find yourself skipping those necessary tasks more often than completing them. Work towards developing a habit of getting things done. When productivity that takes you closer to your goal is part of your regular schedule, you will more likely prioritize effectively and remain organized.

Self-Assessments

While career goals are important, overworking yourself to reach them could potentially leave you feeling pressurized and exhausted to a point where you start questioning the possibility of success. Conduct regular self-check-ups to see how you are doing. Is there something that just isn’t working for you? Are you taking enough time for self-care? By carefully evaluating these key details, you can effectively make future career growth decisions. You may also learn that you really don’t like a certain area of your industry or that you struggle with a particular skill. It’s alright to change your career goals, especially if the result factors in your long-term happiness.

Focus on Rewards

Reaching your career goals won’t always be comfortable. You may have to give up things you really want at the moment to achieve that goal of success. Focusing on the big picture will place you in a better position and keep you moving forward. If you are all in, the end results will be rewarding.

Self-discipline is difficult to develop, but it is well worth it. It’s time to make a big change in your goals, and adopting self-discipline and development is one sure way to increase your odds of success.