In some respects building a successful career is no different
from any other project. Clear goal setting, thorough planning and
effective execution are key ingredients in the recipe for success.
Though expert advice can help you with the process, in the end it
is up to you to formulate objectives, develop a plan, and follow
through to realize your career goals. While you may enjoy your
share of luck, success seldom falls in your lap. Furthermore, if
you ignore the basic principles of career management, an unexpected
setback could badly damage your long-term prospects. Here are six
steps towards success in your career:
- Take a good look at yourself.Understand your needs. What is
important to you? What are you passionate about? A career spans
many years. It can be hard to maintain enthusiasm, excitement and
energy unless you believe in what you are doing. Look for the right
balance in of career, earnings and fulfillment. Are you aiming for
the top or is family more important? What are your unique talents
and abilities? It makes sense to play to your strengths.
- Research career optionsand prioritize. Discover what skills and
experience various careers require ahead of time. What is a good
fit for you with your skill set?
- Map a pathfrom where you are to where you want to be. Think
strategically and long-term about your career. Don't place too much
emphasis on compensation early on. It may be more important to
develop the skills and experience to "set you up." Your action plan
should build upon your strengths and improve your weaknesses.
Establish firm bases for the future. If the platform is secure, you
can usually survive a mistake or setback.
- Don't ignore ongoing training.Acquiring the additional skills,
knowledge and education needed for your new career is fundamental.
Also consider getting some unique experience which will help
differentiate you in the market place.
- Market yourself.Don't take an overly conservative or narrow
view. Consider start-ups and smaller organizations where you will
get more responsibility. But always target companies that are
excellent at what they do, and that place importance on developing
staff, particularly at the beginning of your career. Don't forget
to network! A well-developed list of professional contacts can open
doors for you.
- Seek ongoing career management.Continue to examine, evaluate
and refine. The marketplace can change quickly. Be prepared for
unexpected opportunities as well as setbacks. Don't ignore the
value of mentors. Establish at least one quality mentor in the
field you hope to pursue. Also, use advisors and experts often.
Their experience, advice and influence may prove invaluable.