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How do I build a successful career journey?

The Management Centre

In this blog, Senior Learning & Development Consultant Laura Slater shares three key ideas for creating a successful career path…

How do I build a successful career journey?

From Forest Ranger to Learning & Development Consultant in six years is quite a journey. It’s a journey that has taken me to exactly where I want to be and here are a few things I’ve learnt along the way

Challenge yourself – be uncomfortable

It’s easy to stay in the same role, and stay comfortable but it’s the jump into the unknown where you learn the most about yourself. 

For me it was the jump from the safety of my forest surroundings to Volunteer Manager across three regions, responsible for supporting and developing 700 volunteers. At the time this felt like the equivalent of small pond to big ocean.  

It was this challenge where I learnt I could do much more, that I like to be stretched, develop my skills and find new ways of working. I also discovered I have a real passion for working with people – and in particular delivering training.

Hone your skills – build your specialism

Every move into a new role should make you think about how this is growing your skills and knowledge. Are you heading towards a specialism that will make you invaluable in your field of work?

Having discovered my passion for training, in every job since I have concentrated on developing and demonstrating my skills as a trainer.

Now as a Learning & Development consultant I have the opportunity to focus fully on a skill I love, and to really become an expert in the field of training. In addition I have the opportunity to pass on my learning from previous roles. For example, using my own experience of running complex projects to help participants on our Project Management courses not only to acquire key tools and techniques, but also to better understand what makes a successful – and what makes an unsuccessful – project manager.

Enabling others to go out and excel is what makes me excited as a trainer.

Take every opportunity to learn – be open

We live and work in a rapidly changing world where we have to improve and adapt to survive. Sometimes receiving the most difficult feedback from those around us is where we get the opportunity to develop and improve the most:

  • I’ve learnt to be resilient when projects have failed.
  • I’ve leant to see things from another’s point of view, when a customer hasn’t been happy with my work.  
  • I’ve learnt how to adapt to a situation when my manager has asked me to approach problems in a different manner.

As a trainer I get to learn from my colleagues but also from participants on my courses, and I take every encounter as a chance to both understand my strengths and discover what I can do differently next time – to be even better.

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Laura Slater

About Laura Slater

Laura specialises in project governance and management, as well as leadership and management development. Laura has 8 years’ experience in the charity sector, in particular developing and delivering regional...