Deciding what you want to be when you grow up is not as easy as it used to be. These days, it is not uncommon for people to change careers several times, work in an area that is completely different from what they studied in college or created a brand new job or company that did something that started as a hobby. So how do you know if you're on the right track and not just jumping from position to position? And how do you plan and realize your goals when it is likely that they will change over time? This is how you plan a successful career, even when the future is uncertain.
Finding Your Strengths:
Knowing something about who you are and your abilities is the first step in being able to use your gifts to benefit, which of course is an important part of finding and developing a career that fits. Are you good with people or do you prefer to work independently? What are your special skills and abilities? If you are unsure, there are many evaluation tools available online that can help you uncover some of your strengths and weaknesses. Another good option is to ask some trusted friends for some honest feedback on what they can see you doing at a high level and what you need to work on to get there.
Know your mission:
Most successful companies have a clear mission and a vision to guide their actions; Individuals can benefit from this practice as well. Knowing your purpose in addition to your career goals is extremely important because your career path can change, but a purpose is something you can strive for in all situations. Take time to reflect on what you see as your purpose in life and what you hope to achieve on a deeper level through the pursuit of your career.
Plan for success:
Once you have a clear picture of what is most important to you and what you have to give, it is time to create an action plan.
- Describe your goals: Are you most interested in making more money, helping others or becoming an expert in your field? Do not be afraid to write down your most ambitious goals and be honest about what you really want.
- Prioritize: You are more likely to reach your goals if you only focus on one or two at a time. Prioritize your list before you start sharing how to reach your goals.
- Find the next step: Set a timeline to reach your priority goals and describe the most important steps you need to take to get there. Then figure out the next, small, concrete step you need to take to move forward. Put it in your calendar, do it and repeat.
- Reflect and adjust: Schedule time in the future to review your goals and evaluate your results regularly. If the goal has changed or if you do not make progress, make adjustments as needed.
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