Whether you’ve just graduated from college or you’re looking for a mid-career change, creating a strategic career path and plan can help you get to where you want to go. To accelerate your career and achieve your goals, keep these six steps in mind:
- Identify your goals. No two careers are identical. Every career and its goals depend on the individual’s plans, desires, strengths, and opportunities. Start by identifying your goals. Where do you want to be at the end of your career? Halfway through? In the next year? What do you see as the primary purpose of your work, and what would help you feel, on the day you retire, as if you fulfilled that purpose?
- Know your strengths – and weaknesses. The behaviors, traits, and personal characteristics that form your strengths are also those that will help you succeed in the career that is right for you. Take an inventory of your strengths. Also, list the areas in which you are less strong – this list will tell you where to focus in order to make improvements.
- List both your “hard” and “soft” skills. “Hard” skills include the knowledge and abilities required for you to succeed in one particular job or career field. For instance, IT professionals often need skills in coding and understanding computer hardware. “Soft” skills are those abilities that transfer among multiple job positions, like the ability to work with a team, to stay organized, or to communicate well. List your current skills as well as those you’ll need to advance.
- Identify what you’ve already accomplished and what you still need to finish. College degrees, professional certifications, and continuing education may all fall under “things I have accomplished,” “things I need to finish,” or both. Look at the credentials held by those in positions you’d like to aspire to in your career, and model your own path to match.
- Network with those who have gone before. Talk to several professionals who have taken the career path you’re considering. Ask them what they found most useful in helping them succeed and what their advice is as you climb a similar ladder. The answers may surprise you, but they may also provide a wealth of “inside knowledge” on your path.
- Work with a recruiter. Staffing firms that work with people and companies in your field pride themselves on knowing the industries they serve. Your recruiter can also provide an invaluable perspective on your career path.
At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our experienced Minnesota recruiters can help you supercharge your job search and find the career you’re looking for. Contact us today to learn more about our job opportunities in Minnesota and beyond.