This weekend's challenge is focused on where you want your career to go. Many people will changes jobs and change careers on a regular basis. The opportunity for advancement often means moving from one company to another. Additionally many people find that they want to specialize in a different area than they originally thought or find another career that better suits their needs.
Write down some career goals. Start with what you would like to be doing five years from now. These may be a specific goal in your career field, such as becoming a partner in your law firm, moving up to management position or it may be opening your own business or beginning to work as a freelancer. Do the same thing for ten years and fifteen years as well. If you are happy in your current career field, what can you do to qualify for a raise? For example many states offer automatic raises for teachers if they complete their masters degree or other professional development requirements.
Break the goals into specific steps you need to reach in order to reach those goals. For example you may need to get your MBA in order to move up to a management position within your company. You may need to build a portfolio or make contacts in order to begin freelancing. If you want to open your own business, you should begin to save up money to get started, and you may begin working on it part-time while continuing with your current job.
Ask yourself how your current position is helping you to achieve that goal. If your current position is providing your training opportunities, or has the opportunities you need for advancement, you are in a great position. Be sure you are doing all you can to qualify for and take the training offered through your work. A good impression means more opportunities to move up as well as a good recommendation when you need one.
Set up a specific plan that will allow you to reach your career goals. This includes making contacts, and taking the extra classes you need to qualify for higher paid positions. Break the plan into one year increments. Do not be discouraged if this plan takes several years to execute. Most people do not move into management positions overnight, it does take time.
Follow your plan, while allowing flexibility for changing interests and job situations. Over the next few years check over your plan and make adjustments as necessary. People, who do not plan and prepare for the future, often find themselves in the same situation they have been in the past. Your career takes up a big portion of your time and energy. You should find something that makes you happy and allows you to enjoy your life. If you are in a committed relationship you should consider how that will affect your career choices and whether you are willing to move for your career or your partner's career.
It is important to have a solid career plan and to know that direction you want to your career to take take. This will make it easier for you to move up and to take opportunities, because you will know what you are looking for and be preparing yourself for your dream position through your additional training and education opportunities. When you hear about your dream position or find the next position in your plan, you will know that you are ready to take it and move forward because of the preparations you are making now. Career planning is essential if you want to really get somewhere in your career. If you have a plan and you want to break out on your own, the plan can make it easier to walk away from your job and go after your dreams.