5 ways Kaizen can help you improve your career in 2024

Whether you are looking to bring a fresh perspective to your career, wishing to climb the corporate ladder, building your own startup or developing a specific skill set, staying focused and taking steps to achieve your goal can feel intimidating. 

How can you prevent procrastination and stay focused on your career goal? The answer lies in adopting an effective strategy called Kaizen. Kaizen is a Japanese word that means continuous improvement. Making a huge change or improvement can feel intimidating or daunting. The size and scope of your goal are perhaps the most common reason why many of us fail to reach our true potential.

Kaizen simplifies the process. Right from setting a goal to the process of achieving it, this technique can help you plan and achieve smaller targets at a realistic and comfortable pace. This makes it  an effective method for people who get discouraged when they don’t see immediate results or documented progress. Remember the old joke: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time – that is Kaizen.

Here are 5 steps to implement Kaizen to improve your career in 2024:

Step 1: Decide on a goal

Career improvement may mean a gamut of things like a change of career, promotion, accepting more responsibilities, learning new skills etc. You may be interested in achieving one or more of these goals. Kaizen recommends deciding one goal at a time. Once you have a set goal it is easier to work backwards to identify the process of achieving it. It also helps not to get overwhelmed with many different goals simultaneously and lose your momentum.

Step 2: Make small changes and choose small acts

One of the best aspects of Kaizen is that you can start as small as necessary. Even if it means doing one small task a day for your career, such as updating your LinkedIn profile headline on day one or researching online options for learning a new skill. Concentrating on a small piece of change can help you get a head start without feeling overwhelmed with a big project, idea, or scope of your “to-do” list.

Step 3: Focus on smaller improvements

It is human nature to want to go the extra mile to achieve a goal faster. However, in Kaizen, it is a standard practice to focus on smaller improvements rather than hurrying to finish. Quality over quantity matters and that’s exactly what Kaizen focuses on. So, for example, if you have decided to build your network, start by identifying one person who could connect you to other people and contact them. This is Kaizen, rather than sending out tens of requests and not being able to follow up in a timely, professional and authentic fashion. Focus on each contact before moving on to the next.

Step 4: Make a list of things you wish to improve

There may be more than one thing that you want to improve. Creating a list of things helps to make sure you don’t miss out. However, the idea remains that you need to focus on one goal, one idea, make small and continuous improvements and move to the next goal after completing it.

Step 5: Start now

Roadblocks are a reality, whether it is professional or personal. Kaizen focuses on starting NOW. Most of us wait for the right time to begin. The theory of Kaizen recommends starting your journey, however small, right when you have thought of it. As it is a journey of small and continuous improvements, many people find the approach sustainable over the long term.

Life can pose many unexpected challenges in your career progression. So, what happens to your Kaizen journey if you lose a day? Start again. Kaizen is not measured in a day. Its success totally depends on you, making it much more flexible and easier for you to get back on track, even if you lose momentum. Another challenge you may face is consistency. One of the easiest ways to address this is to complete your small step/goal first thing in the morning. That way it is done before other priorities during the day start taking over your time.

Want to explore the idea of Kaizen further?

If you are looking to make a career change, reach out to our team of highly skilled recruiting consultants to learn about our open roles. For nearly half a century, Agilus has served our candidate and employer networks, connecting job seekers with meaningful employment.

Every year we place thousands of job seekers in Technology, Office Professional, Engineering, and Trades/Technical roles. With over 100 recruiting consultants across Canada, we can help you find your next role or new career path with interview tools and resume support. For more information about Agilus, please follow us on LinkedInFacebookInstagram and Twitter or check out our current open roles.

Recent Posts

Posts by Tag

See all