Are you hoping to improve yourself professionally in 2024 and don’t know where to start? Read this article to learn the practical steps to help you get started.

8 Practical Steps to Take to Improve Yourself Professionally This Year

A wise man once said the difference between who you were last year and who you will be this year is your decisions. If you keep repeating the same thing, there’s hardly any chance you will get a different result.

Therefore, wishing your career will develop will hardly make any difference, but making decisions and taking steps to change your career is what will cause real change.

I’m sure you don’t need further convincing about why you need to improve yourself professionally. So, if you’re still with me, keep reading.

1. Have a Clear Career Goal

A lot of people start ventures without having a clear goal in mind. A career seems necessary for every adult to make money to survive.

But people with the best careers are those whose jobs are beyond a means of survival. Your job should also be something you’re passionate about, which gives your life some form of meaning.

Simply going to work every workday to make money is no way to live. And you cannot step out of that robotic routine if you don’t have a clear career goal.

Ask yourself some pertinent questions: what do you want to see yourself doing in five years? What kind of life do you want to have? What job would fulfil you? How much annual income do you want to make in five years?

If you have the answers to these questions, you can begin taking steps to make it happen. For instance, you can be a waitress today because you hope to open your own cafe someday. So, it doesn’t really matter what you’re doing now, what’s important is that it is one step closer to your dream career.

2. Take Courses to Improve Your Skills

I’m sure many of us are not opposed to the idea of getting promoted at work as we spend years in our position. It may work that way in some government parastatals, but that’s not how it works in corporate settings.

You have to show that you are qualified for the next position to get it. One way to do this is to take courses to improve your skills.

If some courses cost beyond your budget, start by learning yourself through books, YouTube and even some free professional courses.

Ultimately, you’ll need to invest in yourself professionally by paying to get certified. Your improved skills can indicate that you’ve learnt a lot. However, the certification is also important as physical proof to apply for a promotion or a better job.

You can always check Udemy, Coursera or other digital academies to take professional courses.

3. Consider a Career Change

Unfortunately, some jobs are gradually becoming obsolete as the world is changing. Think about how the world no longer needs typewriters because we now have computers.

Some people may have to change their careers or, at the very least, modify them. Google your career to discover the prospects in some years to come. If there’s hardly any prospect and no means to incorporate recent tech into it, it is time to make hard decisions.

Digital skills are fundamental at this time, and luckily, several digital academies can help you garner the required digital skills. You can check out ORAcademy if none comes to mind.


How to improve yourself professionally this year


4. Take on Challenges

Fear of failure is not strange, but letting it stop you from taking on challenges is where the problem lies. You’ll hardly make significant progress in any area of your life if you don’t take on challenges.

Sometimes, our greatest enemy is our comfort zone, and I’m saying this as one who had to learn the hard way. For many years in my career, I was comfortable staying in the background and letting others take on challenging roles that came up because I was scared of failing.

While I was doing that, my contemporaries were challenging themselves and moving ahead. I had to learn when it was too late that sometimes, I needed to throw myself in.

Now, I am not encouraging impulsiveness, you also need to discern what to take on and let go. However, don’t always hide when responsibilities come up, take them up and learn on the job.

You may make mistakes but would be better off because you would have learnt. And you’d be one step ahead of the person who wasn’t involved.

Also Read: Ways to Build Your Self-Confidence

5. Network

Man is not an island, and we weren’t created to be. Network and meet people in your field. Attend industry events and join professional associations if there are any. Talk to people and be open to learning from them.

You could also join communities and groups or follow authority figures in your field on social media. All the tidbits and tips you learn through this means will go a long way in grounding you in your career.

6. Research

Every professional should often keep up with evolving trends in their industry. As mentioned earlier, the world is constantly changing, and what was obtainable yesterday will likely not be the trend today.

For this reason, research is vital to improving yourself professionally. You can get a lot of information from networking, but you should also actively look for information to improve your skills or methods.

You can’t survive on passive learning, take the time out to browse through the internet for new information in your fields.

7. Read

Reading cannot be overemphasised to get educated and stimulate the mind. I will say that reading should not be limited to your field, try to read as widely as you can, including fiction.

You never know what you’ll learn from these books that can be applied to your job or life in general.

8. Stay Positive

Life is not a bed of roses; sometimes, we will experience the downside of life in our careers.

You could lose a job, not get promoted, or your salary could be reduced. Yes, they are all sad situations, but we cannot afford to let them put us down.

We must rise above those situations and stay positive. Believe that things will turn around because they will.

As far as you are taking productive steps, it’s only a matter of time before you reap the fruits of your labour.

Also Read: 10 Tips on How to Remain Happy


Improving yourself professionally is a necessary part of living a wholesome life on earth. I’m sure these tips will help you get the career you want sooner or later.

What are some practical steps you took to improve yourself professionally? Let me know in the comments section below.