There are two ways to establish and pursue meaningful goals for career advancement—focus on roles, or skills.
Career Advancement is a broad term that can encompass a wide array of outcomes. Defining success is often largely subjective, and results can be as small or as big as you want to make them. With this degree of variation, how does one pursue career advancement in any kind of meaningful way? What does real career advancement look like?
This is a question we’ve thought long and hard about at Udacity. It’s one of the first questions we asked ourselves back in the earliest days of our organization, and it’s a self-query we continue to engage in today. If our goal is to support you in your pursuit of meaningful career advancement, what must we provide in order to ensure that you realize your learning goals and achieve your career ambitions?
To fully and successfully address these questions, it’s important to identify and understand two main paths to career advancement: Roles, and Skills.
As a lifelong learner, your journey of discovery is ongoing. To ensure you’re able to make the best choices to achieve your unique life and career goals, our Nanodegree programs are organized into schools that offer clear roadmaps to success.
Is there such a thing as too much choice? When it comes to learning, we don’t think so. But, having a wide range of learning options at your disposal can make charting your own path to career success complicated. Each of us brings a unique set of skills and experience to the table, each of us has our own unique sense of work values, and each of us aims to represent a unique value to prospective employers. But even with a clear end goal in sight, it can be challenging to determine what exactly you need to do to reach your career goals.
With 30 different Nanodegree programs available, Udacity offers a wide range of learning opportunities. But how do you know what to take, and when to take it?
That’s where Udacity’s “Schools” can help!
This Udacity graduate’s unconventional career path led to success as an Android Developer, and included three years as a world-traveling street performer!
If I told you a student created their career out of magic, you might think I was speaking in metaphor, but with John Bono, it’s actually true! John’s parents both work in tech, and for many years he was absolutely sure that he didn’t want to follow in their footsteps. He spent a long time trying jobs in very different industries—the military, poetry, and, yes, magic—before finding the role that truly suited him…in tech! His journey will show you that even the most unorthodox of paths can ultimately lead to career success.
Today, we are witnessing a rapidly-changing employment landscape that is the direct result of extraordinary technological advancement. These changes are profound enough that old rules about creating a “career path” are being rewritten in real time. On the employer side, the pressure to fill so-called “new collar” jobs is challenging organizations to pursue new strategies for identifying and recruiting qualified talent. On the employee side, everyone from first-time job seekers, to mid-career professionals, to those approaching traditional retirement age, is having to reevaluate their skillsets.
Getting from Where You Are, to Where You Want to Be
Career change isn’t easy. Life change isn’t easy. Change of any kind can be difficult. External obstacles are a fact of life. They can be overcome, but they’re often overwhelming. Sometimes, the biggest obstacles are self-created. We doubt ourselves. We second-guess, lose confidence, falter, and give up. I know all about it. I’ve been through it. The best thing that ever happened to me, was admitting it was my fault. Admitting that I’d failed because I hadn’t been true to myself. That was the beginning of my new life.
If that sounds counter-intuitive, it isn’t. Admitting my own shortcomings empowered me. It gave me confidence, it didn’t erode it. The day I realized I needed to forge my own path, on my terms, was the day I became a success. What follows are the lessons I’ve learned. I share them with you, because I hope they’ll help you forge your own path, and achieve success on your terms.