Add Your Flavor To Your Path Toward Your Career Success
Do you have a favorite go-to spice that adds the oomph to your meals? You know, that thing that turns up the flavor to your food? For me, it’s a New Orleans style blend of creole seasonings that makes everything taste better.
That’s same for your career.
Your fulfilling career relies on pursuing your vision (secret spice) of professional success. Or else, you’re likely to spend your days trying to apply other people’s ingredients for your success; only to end up with up flavorless mess of others’ expectations for your career while you mindlessly drift from one job to the next. Pilot your own career.
Certainly, success implies various things to different people. For a few, it’s a matter of earning more money and reaching the C-Suite. For others, it’s about contributing to society and stretching their skills.
Make your work life more rewarding and create achievements you can be proud of.
Here’s a quick checklist for you to use your own secret spice for your career and action plan:
Create A Plan For Your Career Success
If you don’t plan to succeed, you’ve planned for failure.
Of course, you will not have all the answers, and as sure as I’m writing this, your career success plan will change because of life experiences. But one thing for sure, if you do not plan, you will not focus. And if you do not focus, you will fall for anything. You must have a destination.
So how do you create your vision for your career?
Reverse engineer. Start with where you want to be. Envision where you want to be 10- 20 years from now (If that’s too long for you, try 5 or even 1 year from now)? What does your career success look like? What are you doing? Who are you with? Where are you?
Once you have visualized where you want to be, list what it will take to achieve your vision. Additional education, networking (who do you need to know)? This is your time for research. Explore the different paths to get to where you want to be. Try to shadow someone in the industry. Reach out to others who are already in your desired career to gain insight on what the work day entails. Attend meetups. Sign up for webinars and seminars in your desired field.
What are your strengths? After you’ve done your research, think about your personality and strengths. Ask yourself whether this is something you want to do for the long-term or will you need to pivot? It’s ok if you do. Think about your abilities. How can you can apply them to your career? For example, do you like working with numbers or have a passion for organizing events? Aptitude tests can help you figure out what careers complements your personality.
Set specific goals. Create career goals that are measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. This will keep you motivated and focused on reaching your career success.
Address any obstacles. What is holding you back from taking action now toward pursuing your vision for career success. Pick apart the problem and think about solutions. Sort out what’s keeping you down and visualize how you will overcome it.
Consider your personal brand. What makes you unique? Understanding your brand will assist you in the way you present yourself to others in your industry. You will notice what you represent and the audience you’re attempting to reach.
Think ahead. Career planning is a perpetual process that requires more than updating your resume. Consistently review your career success path, so you will make informed decisions about your future, and maximize opportunities.
Write it down. Put your career success plan in writing. You will be likely to remember and execute your strategy rather than letting it get buried under daily events.
Implement Your Career Success Plan
Manage your time. Reserve space in your schedule for activities necessary to your goals. You may need to eliminate distractions such as TV or online shopping.
Maximize your network. Build a robust inner circle of persons you can share practical and moral support. Be sure to request help from others once you need it. Be liberal with sharing information and referrals.
Learn from others’ experiences. Seek a mentor, or accompany a top-performing employee at your organization for training.
Build your qualifications. Seek promising opportunities for instruction and preparation. Consider getting certifications. Review the course catalog at your nearest junior college.
Increase your visibility. Promote yourself by volunteering for committees at the local chapter of your professional association. Write articles for your company website or publish your own industry blog.
Negotiate your salary. Research current compensation data when you’re exploring another profession or seeking a promotion. Speak with your employer about benefits that are important to you, like working from home, flexible hours or childcare.
Take risks. If you want to shine at work, you must leave your comfort zone. Start small, and gradually the minor victories will add up. Deliver a presentation at a staff meeting to organize for addressing the group at your annual convention.
Stay positive. Your professional career is a marathon, not a sprint. A positive attitude will help you persevere. Look on the bright side when things get rough and figure out how to laugh during those times. It will be your strength.
Create a career success plan that empowers you to do what you love while achieving balance in your personal and professional life. Take action now, so you will make choices that reflect what’s essential in your life while supporting your vision of career success.