The modern day career path is anything but linear. Around every bend is a new opportunity. We change industries or companies, move cities, and add to our skill set in order to keep earning, advancing, and inspired. All in search of forging the perfect work-life balance.
With so much in flux, it’s important to think strategically and proactively about the road ahead. Whether it’s time for a promotion, a lateral move or complete change of career, remain focused on where you want to be. Use the following to map the next steps in propelling your career forward.
Research is vital to successful career planning. Choose a career goal to fit your lifestyle and professional needs. It’s important to choose goals that are realistic and that are right for you. With good research, you can maximize the likelihood that your plan will come to fruition and enrich your life.
- Evaluate where you are right now professionally by answering the following questions:
- Are you satisfied with your current profession?
- Is there growth potential in your profession with your current employer?
- Are you happy with your current position?
- Are you sufficiently compensated in your current role?
- How does your current role compare to similar companies in the same field?
- Examine potential opportunities that may be available to you moving forward:
- Inquire about areas of advancement or upward mobility with your current employer
- Identify specific skills or qualifications required for advancement
- Research available opportunities outside of your company
- Identify the skills required or qualifications needed to pursue options outside your company
- Conduct some research into economic trends that may impact on your industry or role
Review the information gathered from your research and the options available at this time.
- List all of the options available to you
- For each option write down the pros and cons for each
- Eliminate options with too many disadvantages
- Narrow the choices down to the one with the most advantages
- The result will be your career goal
- Set your career goal and review next steps.
- Is your career goal relevant to your current industry or will you need to change fields?
- Will you be advancing with your current company or making the move to a new company?
- What credentials/new skills will you need to make this happen?
Gain the necessary skills and knowledge to give yourself a competitive edge. Although there are some skills you can learn on the job or by independent reading, the vast majority of skills require training or education. Once you have identified the areas in which you want to advance, find a program that offers relevant training.
- Does your employer offer tuition assistance ? Ask your employer if tuition assistance is available to employees. You may be able to earn your degree for free.
- Explore online education options. If you already have some college, consider finishing your degree online to propel your career forward.
- Find an education option that does not conflict with your work or family schedule and teaches exactly what you need to learn.
Reignite the fire in your career. Set your goal. Map your path. Take Action. Don’t wait for your career to advance itself. Dreaming big is only beneficial if it’s accompanied by action.
Be intentional and proactive about your career. Think strategically and take yourself where you want to go.
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