Successful career enrichment includes understanding your current skill level compared to those most sought after within the security industry. Many strategic security employers are looking for skills in written and oral communications, analysis and investigation, collaboration and group work, plans and organization, and basic mathematics and statistics. Some employers are looking for leadership. The purpose of career enhancement reflection is to determine your current level of skill and to identify areas in which you need additional skills, experiences, or education. There are many resources available to help you to do a self-assessment on your current skill level. You are wise to take advantage of them and obtain an accurate picture of your current skills profile.
Planning and setting goals will help you reach the place you would like to see yourself in the next five to ten years. After you have looked at all aspects of that vision and have assessed your current skills, you should plan and set goals. A proactive attitude and willingness to accept potential change are helpful. You may need to make short-term sacrifices to achieve your long-term objectives. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Understand your desired outcome and the steps to achieve it.
Be specific about the objects so you can identify the necessary steps to success.
Set short-term goals and intermediary steps. They are often helpful in keeping you motivated and overcoming roadblocks.
Seek the support of others. Building a network of supporters can be useful and motivating especially when they share your vision. Ultimately be true to yourself and your goals.
Understand the expectations. Make sure that you can articulate your performance expectations. Discuss your major deliverables, daily tasks, and the hours you are required to work. Seek feedback and be open to hearing in what areas you should maintain your performance and where you can improve.
Do your job well. The standard of your work is the assessment of your quality as an employee and is part of your professional identity. Have a good work ethic, do your job to the best of your ability, and don’t be overly focused on the next job unless you are successful in the one you have. Meet deadlines. Make notes of your successes and accomplishments for your performance reviews.
Manage your time. Develop a time management system that realistically considers your work requirements. Discuss timelines with your supervisor. Deliver on your commitments and do what you say you are going to do. As priorities change, resist the expectations. Make notes to help you remember key dates, deliverables, and discussions on the topics.
Be observant. Observe the office and your co-workers. Understand who makes the decisions and how they are made. Pay attention how decisions are turned into actions and how they are tasked and disseminated.
Manage your stress. Exercise, eat well and take care of yourself. Learn ways to effectively manage stress.
Seek opportunities. Volunteer for training or leadership. Contribute as a team member. Take projects that force you to improve your skills. Do what you can to demonstrate your commitment to the organizational goals.
Be professional. Act with integrity. Limit personal items in your workspace. Keep your voicemail recording simple and up to date and your email signature simple. Dress appropriately. Be respectful of others: peers, subordinates, and clients as well as superiors. Do quality work but when necessary take responsibility for your shortcomings.
Communicate well. Be clear and to the point in all written communication and verbal communication. Know how to present your ideas, lay out your logical reasoning and be able to do so respectfully, clearly and concisely.
Help others. Be a mentor. Helping others to succeed not only shows you are a team player, but it can be enriching!
Once you have determined the specific knowledge that you would like to obtain, evaluate if further education is required or desired. There are a few considerations before you take on another degree. In general, here are some pros and cons of going to graduate school right after obtaining your bachelor's or pursuing a Ph.D. after your master's degree.
Reasons to continue:
More education may be beneficial in obtaining your career goals. Some jobs required advanced degrees.
You have the advantage of the momentum and are a practiced student with good study skills.
You understand the time commitment. You have already arranged your life to meet your educational goals.
Reasons to wait:
You will have a better perspective of the knowledge and skills that will fit your goals.
You will improve your perspective and understanding of the field by working and improving your worldview.
Some employers will offset or pay for your tuition.
You need time to unwind or improve your financial situation before making another commitment.