No matter what stage of professional development anyone is in, there is advice out there that can help them succeed and advance their careers. Smart people take every opportunity to learn. It is important to learn not only about current events but also subjects that can help you professionally. Here are some tips that can help someone at any stage of professional development.

#1 Take responsibility and show initiative.

If something is your fault, even indirectly, just own it. No one wants to hear excuses; it just muddles the problem even more. Own it and move on to fixing it. Everyone involved will move on to focusing on the solution rather than the problem, turning a negative into a positive. Even if the problem is not your fault, if you step up to the plate and suggest a solution, people will take notice of you in a good way.

#2 Be a good listener.

Many people are eager to jump into a conversation and offer their thoughts. While you may seem engaging, you may not realize that you might actually be interrupting the speaker’s thoughts. Be patient and let the other person finish what they are saying and listen very carefully before jumping in to speak. Not only will this show the other person respect, but it will also help you develop a more thoughtful response. Also, try to show attentiveness while the other person is speaking. Fidgeting or looking in another direction will make you seem distracted and unfocused.

#3 Be straightforward and trustworthy.

In business, your honor and your integrity are everything. Once you lose someone’s trust, be it a coworker, business partner, boss, or client, it’s almost impossible to win back. Almost everything else is forgivable. Also, be straightforward. If you know that something might become an issue or a problem, bring it up as soon as possible no matter how uncomfortable and awkward it may feel. At the end of the day, the small discomfort you feel will be less painful than dealing with future issues or problems that may have arisen had you not stepped forward.

#4 Learn to manage your emotions.

Self-control and respectful communication are essential in cultivating a good reputation. If possible, never allow yourself to show your anger or frustrations. It may make you seem weak. People want to work with level-headed individuals who are calm under pressure. In stressful situations, try to speak clearly and professionally, even when challenged with others who are not able to control their emotions.

#5 Cultivate Relationships.

Develop relationships with people who have been in your shoes and let them mentor you. They can give you objective advice that you may not get on the job. You should also develop relationships with coworkers and peers. This will help keep you up to date on business developments and gain a different perspective.

Where can I get training to advance my career?

If you’re looking to improve your professional development, consider training at Career Technical Institute (CTI). CTI offers a variety of programs in the healthcare, hospitality, information technology, human resources, and office administration fields. Students may take day or evening classes in Washington DC or take Online Classes from the comfort of their own home. Admissions and Financial Aid Advisors are available Monday through Friday during business hours to answer your questions and help you understand what funding may be available to you. Financial Aid is available to those who qualify.