If you’re looking to move forward in your career, it’s important to have a vision for your future. No matter what position you’re in now, establishing career goals can steer you in the right direction of where you want to go and can lead you to success. Without career goals, you can stay complacent and lack the motivation to further your career. Successful leaders do not end up in their current positions by accident, but only with a clear vision that they had previously set for themselves. Read on to help you get started with mapping out a plan to get where you want to go.
Where am I now?
To figure out what your next career move will be, it’s important that you start with self-reflection. Analyzing the current position that you are in and the projects that you are in charge of is a good place to begin. Ask yourself these questions: Does this current position allow me to maximize my potential? What skills have I developed already that will be useful for my future? Essentially you are trying to determine whether you are currently headed in the direction of where you want to be. Consider which aspects of your life that you would like to change and plan your career destination.
Where would I like to be in 5 or 10 years?
Think about the future career goals you have for the long term. This is what you ultimately desire to achieve in your life. Imagine your life in five or ten years and decide what will make you the happiest. How do you define success? How do you want your career to evolve? Instead of Director of Business Development, you want to be Vice President of Business Development. You want to run your own business or you want to expand your current one. You want to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. It’s important to establish a career goal that is concrete and measurable.
What can I do to get there?
With your clear goal in mind, list the steps you must take to accomplish this. What skills must you develop in order to get closer to your definition of success? Develop these skills by changing them into strategic plans that you can put into action. Improve your leadership skills by taking the initiative to read influential books 30 minutes a day. If you need to know more about marketing, sign up to attend webinars about extending your company’s reach. Connect with key influencers in your industry by attending annual networking events. Each item on your action plan should support your objectives in achieving your long term goal.
Build a career timeline
Now that you have a goal and strong objectives in mind, place them into a timeline. What milestones do you wish to have accomplished in the next month, year and three years? Create career checkpoints where you monitor your progress to make sure that you are on the right track. Assess your accomplishments and redefine your objectives as necessary to achieve success. Your timeline should provide a clear picture of exactly what you are working towards as it will also continuously motivate you to reach that goal.