Up on Game: 5 Ways to Keep Your Career Skills Fresh

Use this strategy to remain competitive in your industry

After being passed over for jobs and career advancement opportunities for so long, it’s very common for professionals to find themselves being stuck in a rut. The result of this problematic situation can easily cause one to become discouraged about the future of their career. This has the potential of creating a slippery slope because some people begin to waste their career talent once they lose hope.

“When you disregard a talent and don’t apply it, it eventually becomes a wasted talent,” says William Lee, Jr. (@BusinessMogulWL), author of Breaking The Mold: “WHY WASTE TALENT?”: Make a Difference and Prove It Can Be Done by Your Decisions, Dedication, and Determination.

This topic is highly important because optimal talent management will help careerists take their professional quests to the next level. Particularly for young professionals, having the ability to effectively manage their career talent is important. What makes this so significant is that many of them have a short-term vision due to their failure of being able to see the big picture for their careers. Such a determinant makes it viable for them to stunt their career growth as a result of their squandered talent.

Lee will be launching a “Why Waste Talent” tour in 2014 in hopes of empowering more professionals to fully harness and unleash their career talent. In the meantime, the entrepreneur and business strategist wanted to share five ways BlackEnterprise.com readers can keep their talent polished as they prepare to take a leap to newer heights in their careers:

Identify and stay committed to your talent: A lot of people discover their career talent by recognizing what people say they are really good at doing. Sometimes talent comes naturally, and other times people have to work really hard to develop their talent. Once you’ve identified your career talent, stay committed to it through continuous education and developmental efforts. Lee encourages professionals to develop their career talent daily to protect it from being wasted.

Make a talent development action plan: Planning for your career management and growth is always a good move. Within your plan to develop your career talent, make sure you establish dates and a timeline for your development. Setting a timeline is a good way for you to keep your eyes on the prize, says Lee.

Study what others are doing, but emulate with caution: One of the most popular success tips is the notion of studying other successful professionals. “A big reason people waste their talent is because they like what others are doing and they want to be like that person but that’s not what they were destined to become,” Lee says. Consequently, you must define the career path that best suits you and follow it. Other professionals can help you navigate, but you are ultimately responsible for building your own career.

Eliminate career distractions: You have to avoid clutter and confusion so you can train your mind to stay focused on your career talent, says Lee. Also, keep a positive perspective about your career because a negative mind can ruin everything.

Stay away from the negative crowd: Way too often the negative crowd will tell you to quit and settle for being average. “This can cause you to disregard and not apply your talent which will prove to be a huge career mistake,” according to Lee. Therefore, you must develop a network of professionals who inspire you to make positive changes and upgrades in your career.

Antoine Moss, Ph.D., (@2PositiveTweets) is a nationally recognized resource on internships, early career achievement, leadership and motivation. CEO and founder of CEO Style Consulting L.L.C., Moss empowers professionals and organizations to reach their full potential, and serves as speaker, workshop instructor and consultant. The author of Learn to Intern CEO Style, Moss has been a featured expert on outlets including Fox 8 TV News and George Fraser’s 2011 Power Networking Conference.

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