Most of us know that some sort of career is necessary. I’m a freelance writer, so my “job” isn’t traditional, but I still have to think about my career overall and make strategic decisions if I want to maintain the earning power that provides me with a place to live and my son food to eat.
If you aren’t entirely satisfied with your career, and you hope to take it to the next level, whether that’s getting a raise, a promotion, or switching to a new job altogether, you need to take the steps that will get you where you want to be.
1. Identify Where You Want to Go
Your first step is to figure out what you want your career to look like. What’s the end goal? Where do you expect to be next year, in five years, in 10 years? You can make all the career goals you want, but most of them are useless unless you have a clear idea of where you are going. Even if you decide to tweak your course later, it’s much easier to make those changes if you have an idea of the ending point.
Be specific about what you hope to accomplish, and realistic about the time frame involved. Whether you want to be made a senior partner in your firm, or whether you want to increase your salary by half, figure out what a realistic and reasonable time frame.
2. List What You Need to Do
Now that you know where you want to go with your career, you need to list out the things that need to happen for you to get there. Do you need to obtain a particular credential or license to make it to the next level? Could you receive a pay bump with the help of an advanced degree? Does getting a promotion depend on completing certain projects or reaching particular benchmarks? Research what it will take to reach your career goals, and list out the steps required.
Research what it will take to reach your career goals, and list out the steps required. If you need to follow these steps in order, do your best to list them in that way. You want to be able to move forward in a logical manner, and have a roadmap of where you’re headed.
3. Break Bigger Steps Down Into Something Manageable
As you’re listing the things you need to reach your career goals, you might discover that some steps are large, especially if you need to pay money to attend a training or get a degree. Break these larger steps down into smaller steps. This might include creating a plan to set aside money each month to help you pay for a needed course, applying for student loans, putting together a plan to help you increase sales you make, or attending more networking events.
4. Take That First Step
Once you know what you need to do, and what order you should do it in, it’s time to take the first step. Start with something small, that you can begin working on today. It might be reading an inspirational book with tips to help you get motivated. Your first step might be setting aside that first $50 into an account designed to help you save for a licensure exam. Whatever it is, make the first move. You’ll feel empowered, and know that you are on the path to reaching your career goals.
Keep moving down your checklist, working on the actions that will help you take your career to the next level. As you continue to make strides, you’ll find those around you notice, and that can help you