Sometimes a new career path will open itself up to you serendipitously, and you will be taken on a brand new adventure you could not have possibly planned for. However, it is still incredibly beneficial to have somewhat of a map already planned out so that you know what steps to take in order to advance in your career. If you plan on pursuing new opportunities, then you are most likely going to have to work to achieve them. Having a basic outline of when and how certain goals are going to be carried out is excellent in ensuring that you do not become complacent and remain in a static situation for too long.
Steps to Take On Your Career Path
The path you take does not necessarily just have to be when you hope to get promoted or when you plan on moving to a different company. It can also include the acquisition of new skills and knowledge that will prove to be beneficial as you continue on your career path. If you are fairly young, you might still be in school, so your map might include when you plan on getting your Bachelor's or Master's. If you are already a seasoned veteran of the workforce but you have discovered that you need to acquire a new skill to remain viable in your field, it would be wise to map out taking community college classes to gain that skill. For example, learning to code is becoming an increasingly sought after skill, so to succeed in your career, you may want to set some time in learning how to properly code.
Other checkmarks on your career path can include recognition and accolades you are hoping to gain. This can include gaining a crucial award or getting published in a prestigious publication. Attaining visibility also does not have to be limited to trophies and certificates. It can also include leading a special team and taking on more responsibilities. If you display in your current line of work that you are capable of taking on more responsibilities, then that is going to show to future employers you have what it takes to come into this new organization at a higher level.
Naturally, career paths should also include when you hope to gain a higher or new position. No one wants to feel like they are stuck where they are with no hope at climbing higher. In order to properly map this out, it would be advantageous to speak with your superiors or people in different organizations that perform the same work as you do to see how long it typically takes to advance. If you have mapped out getting a promotion at a certain time, and then that time comes and goes, it might be time to take another look at your career path.
Working Off Your Proposed Career Path
As you are getting started planning everything, there are certain questions you need to ask yourself in order to create the best map possible. These questions include:
· Do I want to stay with the same company much longer?
· Can I advance at the company I am at now?
· How much longer do I want to stay here?
· If I spend too little or too much time at the same company, will that negatively affect me in the future?
Once you have answered these vital questions, you should take a piece of paper and jot down your proposed path. Start with where you are now and where you ultimately want to be. Your path should certainly include forward movements that involve getting promotions or going to more prestigious companies, but it may also include lateral movements. You may realize it is best to go to a different company but in the same position you are currently in. There is no right or wrong path to take, so map out a course that works for you.
One of the most important things to remember for your proposed career path is that it needs to be flexible. Over the course of your career, you may experience setbacks or changes. It is also possible that you decide you want an entirely different career altogether. Do not feel the need to vehemently abide by your map if something new comes to light. The most important thing is that you are happy where you are in your career.