Not every career path will do. Not every job will lead you to professional success and satisfaction. And many people who have ‘suddenly’ quit jobs that pay them six-digit salaries for lesser-paying jobs will attest to that. They suddenly realised that their high-profile jobs offered them no satisfaction and led ‘nowhere’; at least not where they want to be career-wise.
According to experts, many people fail to define a career path and often end up far from the road to professional success. They advise that people ought to take out time and plan career paths for themselves before they get a job. For those already working, they say it is not too late to define a career path and regularly review it.
Doing this of course is not as easy as a stroll down the street. In truth not many people can confidently say what they want to do for the rest of their life. In the same vein, it is not as tasking as having to spend nights in a forest. All it requires is clear thinking and proper understanding of what really matters to the individual involved.
To come up with a good career plan for yourself by taking the steps listed below.
Know what is good for you
Do you know the kind of person you are? Can you say for certain what is good for you and what is not? Experts say many people cannot answer this question easily because they have never tried to answer them before. Once you do not understand your personality or self, you will be unable to tell what is good for you. As a result of the failure of many young people to understand their personality, it is common in our society to hear an adult tell a younger person, “You do not know what it good for you”.
To determining what is good for you, you need to understand what motivates you and what makes you happy or give you a sense of success. What are your likes and dislikes? What are the things you feel strongly about? What are your hobbies? When you answer these questions honestly, you will find it easier to tell if a job is suitable for you or not. If you dislike going to hospitals, for instance, then you might have to avoid a job in the medical profession.
If you are already working, get a list of what you like doing and compare it with the activities that go with your job and see if they are similar, if they are not, it means you are either in the wrong company or pursuing a wrong career. Take the time to understand the motives that drive your sense of success and happiness.
Many experts have stressed that it is important to follow your passion and over the years, many success stories have revolved around people who, after years of pursuing other career paths without success, decided to build a career around their hobbies or passion.
Take note of past successes
In planning a career path, it is important for you to review your past achievements. What are the things or projects you have done with great success? Why do you think you were successful? By taking note of your past accomplishments, you will not only get to understand what you are very good at, but also what it will take to be successful. And this can help you better plan your career. For example, if most of your past accomplishments involved you organising events or mobilising people to support a social cause, you might be better off in events management and planning. Also, reviewing past achievements will help give you an idea about the kind of atmosphere you need to excel professionally.
Set career goals for yourself
After getting to understand yourself – you likes, what is good for you, etc. It is important for you to draw up a plan for your career and set goals for yourself. Decide the kind of job you want, what you want to achieve and when, etc. Many experts say by setting goals and targets, you are likely to be more successful than you will be when you ignore goal-setting.
Prepare for the chosen path
It is one thing to know what is good for you and to know which career path suits you best, but it is another thing to be prepared for the challenges of that career path. While you may be naturally good at a job because it suits you, to excel, you need to put in extra effort. And this comes with training and preparation. How are you developing yourself for the career path that suits you? Are you developing yourself for it? Are you prepared for the challenges you will encounter as you rise up the career ladder? Mike Tyson was naturally good at boxing and with training he quickly became a champion. But he wasn’t prepared for the challenges that come with being a champion; managing his fame and his finances or getting the right professionals to do that for him. As a result, he quickly fell from grace.
To avoid such a mistake, get all the training you require to excel in your career path. Enrol for programmes that will provide you with the knowledge you need to succeed.
Target the right organisations
The kind of company or organisation you work for can determine whether you will become a successful professional or not. For instance, if your goal is to be a soul musician and you sign for a record label that produces Fuji Music – and which has no plan for soul music, you might just be wasting your time.
Stay abreast of trends
It is important that for you to always have the latest information about the industry in which you operate. This will help you seize the opportunities that will enable you grow in your chosen career and to stay relevant. This will make it possible to find new jobs easily and to negotiate better conditions, which will in turn boost your career.
According to experts, acquiring unique skills and accomplishments will only boost your chances of making it to the top in your chosen career path.
Review your career plan regularly
We live in a fast-changing world and just as the conditions and requirements for achieving success in a career continually changes, so do our likes and dislikes or interests. It is therefore important that you review your career plan regularly to note changes that may have occurred in your profession or in your goals. Whether you are already working or just about to start out, it is important that you get yourself a clear career plan.
(culled from Punch)