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15 Career Development Topics That Will Follow You Through Life

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Recurring career themes you’ll encounter when choosing a career, changing careers or building a career:

Career development is a lifelong process that encompasses everything from choosing a career and selecting your work place to building your career and changing careers. It really never ends. There are even executive coaches out there who help those at the top of the corporate ladder to navigate the sometimes choppy career waters! No matter where you are in the process, whether you’re researching careers or moving through your career, you’ll find that certain themes pop up again and again. We’ll be digging in to each of these themes over time here at Careers Out There. For now, I’ll give you a brief overview of some of the themes that pop up a lot. To provide examples of each theme in action, I’ll share my personal experiences below. Please share yours in the Comments section!

1. WHAT INTERESTS YOU?

You definitely want to look in the mirror and ask yourself this question. Also ask your friends and family what they think interests you. This is something that can change a lot over time so keep asking the question. Work can feel more like play if your career path matches your interests – and I always say success is when you don’t know whether you’re working or playing. So does Tom Petty! See how I figured out my interests. For extra help in figuring out yours, you might want to try career tests – more on that below.

2. SKILL ASSESSMENT

Napoleon Dynamite knew he was good with a bow staff but wasn’t otherwise aware of his skills. What are your skills? Recognizing what you’re good at is key to finding the right career fit. It took me a few years of working to realize that my strengths included being a persistent, detail-oriented, trustworthy good listener who could effectively meet and connect with new people and help them. When I learned that that combination of skills makes a good salesperson, I pursued a sales-related path. That fit helped me both enjoy my work and make money – always a nice combination.

3. FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS

You’ll have to balance this route by making many sacrifices but it can be done and achieved! Life is short…do you want to look back one day and say, “if only……”? The “if only” way of thinking can take over your mind. Starting in college I wanted to be in the music business, work with my rock star heroes and manage bands that I loved. I went for it. By the age of 25, I was managing one of my favorite bands and working on a Rolling Stones tour!

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