Is your career mapped out? Although there are many aspects we can’t plan for, creating a career path for what we can control might just be the best step towards progressing your role, or career.
Have you ever felt as though you’re not really going anywhere, but you’re not sure of how to change things? There are people who seem to always be promoted, be given more responsibility, or are developing quicker than you; then there are others who remain in the same role for years, without seeming to progress forward. Which one do you feel best describes you – and is it what you want?
Career progression isn’t necessarily about being promoted, or even running your own business. For you, it could mean becoming the expert in your field, the go-to for your industry, role or team. Identifying your career goals is the difference between enjoying a satisfying career, or going through the motions until retirement. There are many different types of career path and it’s possible to define your own – one that suits your needs.
But, how do you create a career path, especially if you’ve been working for decades?
There’s no time limit on when to map-out your career… unless, of course, you’re due to retire by the end of the year! There’s no time like the present, so here’s my advice to help you get started.
1. Research your industry, and what “success” would look like for you The beauty of creating your personal career path, is you can define the meaning of success for your life. There’s no right or wrong definition. So, take some time out to let your mind wander, and image what you would love to do, if you had the freedom to do so. It’s important to move away from your normal day, so you’re not hindered by to-do lists, others’ expectations, or family demands. Identify any key roles, opportunities and players in your industry – can you imagine yourself there? Research what it would take to be there, and don’t worry about the potential roadblocks, like family commitments, finances, lack of experience or education etc at this stage. Just make a note of them, and keep dreaming.
2. Enrol in the right courses and programmes to help you develop professionally Now it’s time to start working toward your dream. Career progression rarely comes to those who just sit and wait for opportunity to knock. It’s something you can create for yourself – even expand within your current role – once you know what you want. So, finding the right courses could be as simple as attending workshops and webinars, listening to relevant podcasts, and reading to increase your learning. Or you could start an online course, building up points toward certification, or even a full degree. To help toward costs, consider asking your employer, who may have a professional development fund and will agree to finance your studies. Not sure if you have the confidence to ask? I can help with that.
3. Find a mentor or a coach who’ll guide you
A mentor is often someone who is already in the position for which you aspire, with whom you can spend time and absorb some of their knowledge and experience. A coach will give you the tools to help you gain the confidence and skills to reach where you want to be.
As a life and career coach, I can help you identify your strengths, and build on your weaknesses, as you reach for your goals. I’ll enable you to stand in your power with techniques designed to help you feel in control of your future, and thrive. If you don’t yet have a career plan, I’ll also help you to discover what’s going to be really important for you, and what might been hidden from your immediate view to guide your plans.
4. Network with like-minded people, and those who represent where you want to be The power of networking lies in establishing mutual connections which can benefit both you, and your contacts. The old adage, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” remains a powerful tool for career progression. Not confident with networking? It is worth spending time learning how, because it can be an important means for career progression. Networking with confidence can open up opportunities, provide you with industry insights you may not be aware of, or the means to develop based on recommendations from your connections. As a coach, I can build your confidence with networking, so you can make it work for you.
5. Ask or indicate you’re open to opportunities Once you’ve implemented the above steps, and notice your confidence has grown as you have a clearer idea of what you want, it’s time to make some noise about what you can do, and where your next step should be: “If you don’t ask, you don’t get”. Self-promotion can feel draining, and quite embarrassing – especially if the conversation goes “wrong”. But, these aren’t reasons to keep quiet, because it can be so rewarding when it goes right! Working with me, I’ll give you strategies to succinctly outline what you want, silence the voice of anxiety, and sound confident, even when you don’t feel it. I believe in you, so stop letting fear hold you back, and stop you from hitting your career goals.
Wherever you are in your life there’s never a perfect time. There’s only ever the present. Make time work for you and get super clear on where you want to go so that each you feel the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve moved a little bit further towards the life you want.
If any of this sounds familiar to you and you’d like support, please get in touch- I’d love to hear from you! firstname.lastname@example.org | 0777 8749812