Are you staring at a blank page trying to plan your career? Perhaps you’re ready to pivot but hesitant about what direction to take. Career planning can be challenging and overwhelming due to stress and the amount of information available, not to include the variety of career options. So, how do you set yourself up for professional success?
The answer is that you plan. Planning is essential for a successful career. You will be planning all throughout your career because your career is a life-long project. It can benefit from these seven career planning tips for professional success.
Design Your Career Path
It probably seems redundant to suggest planning your career when looking for career planning tips for professional success; but that is how you begin your career journey- planning. Any good thing requires a plan and when it comes to your career you will not progress far or in the direction you want to go without a plan.
You want to set a successful career trajectory. Imagine where you are going. While success is not ensured with a plan, failure is certain without a plan. When it comes to planning your career, it is important to outline a likely career path and set goals boosted by actionable steps. Your chances of success will be greater with set goals.
SMART (specific, measurable, attainable/actionable, relevant, and timely) goals is a tool that is frequently referred to in any form of planning and that is because it can help with establishing clear goals and increase the likelihood of meeting them.
Additionally, keep in mind that planning does not end once you have drafted and set your course. It is necessary to revisit and adjust your plan on a regular basis. In this way, your plan is a living and evolving thing, just like you and your career.
In your planning, remember to utilize your strengths. By focusing on your strengths, you can determine what skills you can utilize to make an impact and succeed where you work. Do not feel defeated or overwhelmed if there are strengths that you don’t yet possess or many areas that you need to work on. Strengths can be built up.
No career path is perfect. You will likely come across some speed bumps and detours and need to revisit your career plan to redirect. Remember at these points to reflect and assess if your plan still aligns with your goals and career aspirations.
Build a Network and a Support System
As you go on your professional career journey, it is equally important to foster relationships for your professional network and personal support system. Your professional network will help you grow and open the door for opportunities. Your personal support system will help you stay motivated and cheer you on. Yes, your career is yours, but you won’t be able to do it all on your own. Illicit help from others to increase your opportunity for success.
Be Prepared to Pivot
As you plan out your career you want to include a contingency plan, a plan B, and even a backway path. It may sound contradictory, but you must be ready to pivot at any point in your career whether that be caused by opportunity or disaster.
This can be done in various ways with preparedness being steadfast with an updated resume. Having an up-to-date resume will give you easier mobility when pivoting in your career. To do this, you may consider researching executive resume writing services to ensure your resume is current and polished.
Career planning should not be devoid of strategy. Strategy will take you where you want to go and it’s important to remember to expect the unexpected. If there’s anything that 2020 taught the working world, it was that the way we do things can always be changed.
Develop Skills and Assess Progress
Skills are essential for any job position. It is necessary to develop and continually refine them. There are two ways to look at skills: transferable and specialized. Both are beneficial to have.
Perform a self-assessment and identify what skills you possess that are transferable. Sometimes having general skills or transferable skills feels like being a jack-of-all-trades, donning the negative connotations; but, transferable skills are advantageous because they can help you move easily between job positions, fields, and industries. This is marketable.
Likewise, specialized skills are also advantageous. Having a specialized skill set can make your application stand out and put you ahead in job role considerations for specific positions. Be sure to research what skills you need for the job that you are interested in.
In addition to this, discover what certifications or licenses are required, if any. Most importantly, always remember to pair your skills with knowledge. They are ineffective without a knowledge foundation for the field and industry.
It is important to regularly assess where you are on your career path. The milestones you have crossed. The achievements you have collected. The work you have done. The areas of improvement that need progression. This encourages you to be better in your career and sets you up for your next career goal.
Keep Yourself Open To Learning Something New
Learning is a continuous process. With new technological advances and drives to progress, it is necessary to be open to learning new things. A business or organization that is not learning or growing is bound to fail or remain stagnant. It will always benefit you as an employee to have a chance to learn something new.
Take advantage of career resources, training opportunities, workshops, and mentorships that can assist in furthering your career. Foster relationships with individuals in your field who you can learn from.
Your career is whatever you make it. Finding success in your profession may be challenging, but using these tips to enhance your career management can assist you on the right track. Remember that you have value as an employee. Review your plan and check that you are going in the direction you wanted.
Your career will likely change over time and it’s important that you self-audit and continue to develop and refine your skills. Keep a basin of knowledge at your disposal. Monitor the work climate so you know when it might be time to pivot. Whatever work you do, make sure it is meaningful to you.