Career Dev Prompt #8: What does it really take?


As a professional – you should have Career Goals. If you don’t want are you doing reading this blog? Today we are thinking long-term and this week’s prompt is aimed at helping you clarify these long-term goals and potential options for getting there.

I am thinking DREAM GOAL, DREAM ROLE. TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN aspirations. If you haven’t already got this in a prominent place – write it down. Now! Great. Now I want you to think about WHY you want to do this and what you current plan is for getting there. DO you have one? Have you though beyond your next paycheck, pay rise, promotion? Have you thought BIGGER? No? Well Let’s get started. Have a conversation and learn what it really takes to get your Dream Job.

PROMPT: This week I want you to have a conversation (or coffee date) with someone you know that is currently doing the job or is on their way to doing the job. Even learn more about how your boss got where they are today.

Subscribers of our Career Development Prompts Premium Plan (which is only £30 for a 2014 subscription) will be able to download our 8-page ‘have a conversation’ action plan and learn what to ask during the conversation to ensure you get the information you need.

E is for… Enthusiasm


Enthusiasm: great excitement for or interest in a subject or cause

Does your job excite you? It should. If it doesn’t you should try to make it more exciting. While being enthusiastic is not strictly a skill, employers often employ those who are enthusiastic or passionate about the job or industry.

Why is being enthusiastic important?

If you show a positive attitude and an eagerness to do the required job it can be simple enthusiasm that gets you the job over and above similar candidates.


Employees who are enthusiastic are shown to provide good customer service, resolve conflicts, work productively with others and stay in the job for a longer period of time. Enthusiasm can drive good team work and make the team as a whole work better together.

But being more enthusiastic about your job also benefits you as an individual:

  • Enthusiasm can lift you up – you will be happier in your job and your enthusiasm will also inspire and lift those around you. Enthusiasm can be contagious.
  • Enthusiasm can drive you to work harder and achieve more – in the longer term enthusiasm can put you in line for a promotion, pay-rise and make you attractive to other potential employers.
  • Enthusiasm can potentially make you more creative, as you strive to make your job, company or projects better through your enthusiasm you can actually come up with ideas to make things better for everyone.

How do you show Enthusiasm?

Enthusiasm at a job interview:

  • body language: smile, sit up straight and make eye contact;
  • engage and discuss things in an upbeat/positive manner;
  • show an interest in the job.

Enthusiasm in the workplace:

  • show up to work on time;
  • show an interest in the job;
  • show an interest to develop the job by listening, learning and trying new things;
  • be proactive in quiet lulls / downtime;
  • actively seek work or support others.

An Enthusiastic Employee is someone who is seen to want to be at work and who is willing to do what it takes to get the job done.

Skill Development Plan

Enthusiasm can be a bit black and white. Something either gets your passion fired up… or it doesn’t. However being enthusiastic is not just about being passionate. It also includes:

  • being grateful
  • being positive
  • being proud of what you achieve
  • being creative
  • being proactive
  • evolving.

Action Point: Create a gratitude list and achievement list as part of your career journal.

Summer Internships Ebook Now Available (win a free copy)

Summer Internship Image

Following on from the Summer Internship Series on the DIY Career Development Blog this eBook explores the topic further and is packed full with the blog series, the worksheets and lots of completely new content.

Contents include:
– What is a Summer Internship?
– Why do a Summer Internship? (inc Pros and Cons List)
– How to: find a Summer Internship.
– How to: Create your own Summer internship.
– Application Checklist
– How to: make the most of your Internship – tips and tricks
– Keeping a Record of your Experience

Worksheets include:

1. Wish List Worksheet
2. Research Worksheet
3. Application Tracker Worksheet
4. Initial Goals Assessment and Preparation for Meeting
5. Meeting Notes
6. Action Plan
7. Diary Sheet
8. Progress Tracker
9. Review and Feedback Worksheet
10. Contacts
11. End of Internship Review
buy this eBook now

If you are doing a Summer Internship this Summer you can also grab the Summer Internship Record Notebook to help keep track of your internship.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway


Don’t forget you can still enter the giveaway to win a FREE  copy of the Summer Internship Record Notebook from Printed Portal or a FREE copy of the Ebook in time for summer.

The competition is open for one week (closing at 5pm GMT on 7th July) … to enter simply answer the question

What do you hope to learn this Summer?

and email your answer to together with your preference of eBook or the organisational notebook. Two winners will be picked from the most interesting entries.

introverted? Work hard on public speaking

An important part of your career development is identifying your weaknesses or other areas for improvement and developing them.

It is no secret that I am an introverted person. I struggle at presentations, public speaking, making myself heard at meetings and commanding authority. Once I start to speak people will listen and usually take what I say under advisement, but it is the getting started (the initial speaking out) that gives me trouble. My natural approach is to wait until asked. In a professional or corporate world this does not work (at least not all the time).

My boss at my previous company was fantastic about this and always made a point to ask if there was anything I wanted to add, or would let me start the talking straight off and lead the meeting. However, not everyone is like that (particularly in a competitive environment).

Skill Development

This year (like most years) one of my goals has been to work on my public speaking (and I am sure this is the same for a lot of people for a variety of reasons).

Skill Development is a vital part of career development whether you want to fill in the gaps in your C.V. overcome your weaknesses or prove you are the right person for a promotion you should be serious about developing your skills to help you on your way to your overriding objectives.

Action Plan

It is not enough to say “I want to be better at public speaking” you need to have achievable goals and an action plan to get you there so you can show that you have improved your public speaking preferably by doing actions that can themselves be added to your C.V.

1. Start by picking a soft skill that you want to develop – here I have used the example of public speaking and presentations.

2. Then set a number of goals. I usually have 3 goals per skill.

3. Then write a list of ACTIONS that you can do to achieve those goals.

This is a simple set up and is similar to how I manage review and track my regular goals. The key difference is identifying goals that are all about the soft skills development. Don’t forget they do not have to be work related things. You can build up your soft skills outside of work as well.

Flash Freebie: Skill Development Action Plan (includes an example of one of my Plans for Public Speaking and Presentations).

DIY ACTION POINT: Write your Action Plan for one skill that you want to develop.

Date for your Diary: Don’t forget to schedule a review in 6 months. You can use our Skills Development Progress Tracker for your review.