Setting career goals and making a plan to achieve them is the most important step to getting your dream job.
If you dream of a new career, you’re not alone: UK workers have one of the lowest levels of job satisfaction in the world.
The secret behind having a great career is to take responsibility for your own professional development.
“No one is going to come in with a magic wand and give you your own business or ensure you’ll achieve a leadership role at your current company,” says life and business strategist Tony Robbins. “You have to create a career development plan for yourself.”
Get started with the following steps.
1. Consider your opportunities for career development.
- Explore career ladders. Think about what opportunities there may be for you to move up in your current company.
- Look at other career paths. What path might your career take based on your current role? Don’t just think about within your organisation, but outside it as well.
- Make sure your possible paths are right for you. This is key to finding a career that satisfies you! “You must align your career development path with your nature,” says Tony Robbins. Ask yourself what your talents are—what are your true gifts?—and consider how these can give you an edge over the competition.
2. Do some career planning.
- Get the tools you need. “When it comes to career development planning, you can’t do everything on your own,” says Tony. Online courses, business seminars and training workshops are all valuable resources for career development. Find out what resources your company offers for professional development, and look into those which would be most beneficial to you.
- Network and connect. The old adage that it’s not what you know but who you know still has a lot of truth to it. Expanding your professional network will help expand your opportunities for growth. Join a meet-up group or attend a networking event, and make sure you reach out to previous contacts to maintain a relevant connection. Consider getting a mentor if you don’t already have one.
3. Make a master plan.
Tony Robbins advises using these 8 steps to create your career development plan:
- Write down your main career goals, and make them clear and trackable!.
- Identify which of your goals are short term and which are long term.
- Identify the barriers between achieving both your short-term and long-term goals . Consider your limiting beliefs as well as lack of resources or opportunities.
- List two or three activities that you can do now that will help you reach each goal. Consider things like training and cultivating a specific professional connection.
- Identify the tasks in your current role that can help you and come up with ways to increase or emphasise these tasks.
- Identify your current tasks that are not helping you and come up with ways to reduce or eliminate these tasks.
- List out additional experience, knowledge or skills that you need to acquire that will help you achieve your career development planning goals.
- Create a plan to monitor your career progress. Be specific about how and when you keep track.
4. Consider a mosaic career.
The traditional way of thinking about career progression is the ‘career ladder’ model—we take steps up the ladder as we work towards achieving our ideal career.
However, the ladder model only allows for progression in one direction. Today’s careers are much more likely to resemble a mosaic.
“With the Mosaic model,” says human capital expert Elatia Abate, “we shift our working worlds from a singularly focused track, based on a central skill set, to a composition of talents, creativity, skills and values that centre around a common theme or series of themes.”
Don’t limit your options, and above all: consider what kind of career will help you feel most fulfilled.