Think of your career as a long journey and treat it accordingly. To effectively organize your career’s growth, you’ll need to plan and organize as you would plan a trip to Europe.
You need to know where you’re heading towards, and you need to know precisely the steps you’ll have to follow to reach your purpose. Otherwise, you’ll just waste precious time and resources, distracting yourself from the proper path.
You usually tend to make and follow a timetable every time you go on a trip. Why not do the same with your career? You let your career path in the hands of destiny yet you carefully plan and organize your vacation?
It’s time to take some action towards your career growth. Just like Michael Peterson, HR Manager Assistant at ResumesPlanet, advises “You must take your career into your own hands and shape it by your will. Otherwise, another person will do that for you and you might not like where it leads.”
Well, in today’s post, we’re presenting you the 4 most efficient ways to effectively plan, organize, and manage your career growth.
1. Analyze Your Past Year
Take your time and answer honestly; how well did your career go last year? As this conversation takes place in your head, there’s no reason to lie or to convince yourself that “it’s not that bad”. Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter how slow you’re going as long as you keep going. But if you stopped moving forward for a while, you have a problem.
So, you’ll have to analyze what went wrong, what kept you away from that promotion, or why your actions weren’t good enough for a salary raise. Take a look at your achievements too. What did you learn from them? What experiences helped you shape your skills and expertise? And what resources have most positively influenced your work activities?
You’d better write down the answers, so you’ll have a better clarity and understanding of that specific events. Moreover, be specific, get into details, and analyze how all your actions have affected your income. You need to know all these things if you want to improve your career growth in the next year.
2. Figure Out Where Do You Want to Be in Two Years
You know the basic question “Where do you see yourself in 2/ 5/ 10 years?”. The same question that you were asked all the time when you were young. Now that you’re a grown-up, you’ll have to ask yourself a similar question, and that is “Where do I want to be in X years?” Of course, when you address it, have your professional path in mind.
So, are you happy with your actual job or you’d like to change your career? Do you want to start your own business? Find out the right answer to these questions by following what your heart’s saying.
There’s a big myth that you may have swallowed, saying that a sudden change of career path is complicated and hard-to-achieve. Or perhaps you are afraid?
As you see, you’ll have to step out of your comfort zone and make some effort to find out these answers for yourself. We all have to. But let me ask you… isn’t it totally worth it?
3. Clarify the New Goals in Your Career
Now that you’ve properly analyzed your past actions and have reflected upon your career’s possible future, it’s time to set goals.
What is your big dream? What would you write to Santa if you were just 5, not knowing what it is possible and what it is not? State your big goal.
Take your time and daydream about this, so you can write them down and analyze them. Stay creative but be realistic at the same time. Understand the difference between possible and impossible. For example, our beliefs always limit us, making us perceive that X or Y path is totally unapproachable when in fact it totally is.
Furthermore, you’ll need to reflect on your skills too. Maybe your goals require new skills or the improvement of the existing ones. Take your time to build knowledge and expertise, as they’ll be your “best friends” in your professional future.
4. Create Your Career Growth Plan and Take Action
Finally, we’ve reached the planning part, which holds the key to your success. An effective plan may lead you to unexpected paths of glory. Basically, that plan is about when and what actions you must take to grow your career. You need to split your big goal into smaller, mini-goals, that you must approach separately and dedicate your full focus and action toward.
For example, if the big goal is to start your own business, don’t leave your actual job as you’ll need finances to launch the startup. Moreover, organize your free time effectively and in alignment with every mini-goal that you make. If, for example, the mini-goal would be to develop a fully functional website, you must focus on choosing the domain name, the logo, the fonts, the security, the SEO aspect, and so on.
All these things take time and money if you can’t handle it by yourself. Therefore, it’s crucial to establish the specific budget you’ll need for absolutely all your predicted future actions. Also, it won’t hurt to be prepared for unexpected fees as they’re always present. Outsource only what you absolutely can’t do or won’t do because you can do something else more productively.
Now if you want to get a promotion, your plan will be different. You first must earn the trust of your employer, proof your expertise, and give out a lot of value in exchange for nothing. These would be the normal mini-steps you’ll have to take. Take each part and break it down into simple actions.
If you decide to finally take action and be responsible for your career future, you need to keep in mind that it will not always be rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes is a compromise that moves us along.
Moreover, in time, your purpose and goals might change as new opportunities that you never took into consideration show up and become part of your path. In these cases, you’ll have to trust yourself and your instincts and keep in mind that you can’t win if you don’t risk.
Also, never be afraid of failure as it’s a part of the process. Sometimes a failure may bring your morale down but be strong and take it as a lesson. Spot out your mistakes and consistently work to improve your knowledge and skills.
Justin is a blogger from Leicester, England, UK. When not teaching his little students and rooting for Leicester FC, he loves to share his thoughts and opinions about education, writing and blogging with other people on different blogs and forums. Currently, he is working as an editor at BestEssays. Follow Justin on Facebook and Twitter.