With the recent recession still very real for many, it seems as though the smart decision right now is to simply take any job — just to survive. And, while you don’t want to turn your nose up at work when it’s offered to you, especially if you need it, it’s important to have a bigger plan for your career.
Even if you currently perform in a dead-end job, you can still put together a career strategy. In fact, you should have a career strategy no matter what you are doing. It will provide you with a road map to success, and help you determine what you need to do to find the job you want:
What Do You Want To Do?
Think about what you want to do. What is your dream job? Consider your preferences, and what you do well. Determine what would make a job enjoyable for you. Do you like to help people? Do you enjoy working with numbers? Examine yourself, and research different careers. Look for careers and job descriptions that fit what you want to do.
Find Out What Skills You Need
Next, research the skills you will need to work in your preferred career. Find out about the education level and certifications required for your dream job. In some cases, you might already have some of the career skills you need. In other cases, it might be necessary to obtain further education or training.
Make a Plan to Acquire the Requisite Skills
Once you know what skills are required in your preferred job, create a plan to develop them. You might need to go through a special certification program, or you might need to take evening classes at the local university to complete a specific degree. Be realistic about your plan, and put it in to action so that you are able to acquire exactly the skills you need.
Identify Other Steps For Accomplishing Your Career Goals
Consider other steps you might need to take as you work toward your goal. Are there interim jobs you need to gain required experience? Are there particular people that you should be networking with? If your dream is to quit your day job and start your own business, you might need to take some preliminary financial steps to protect yourself and your family before you quit.
Break It Down
When you know what you must do to reach your career objectives, it’s time to break it down and create a strategy. Figure out which order is likely to help you best accomplish your goals. Break down each goal into actionable steps.
Your career strategy should help you accomplish a journey that leads, ultimately to your desired job. Without a plan, chances are that you will languish in your unfulfilling job indefinitely. When you have a direction for your energy, you will be more likely to find success.
Look at where you are now, and consider where you want to be. Create a plan that can guide you forward; with the right road map, you really can make the most of your career.