It’s easy to get buried in the day-to-day tasks required at your job. Taking the time to consider your long-term career plans, however, can help you ensure your daily work points you in the direction you want to go – whether that means developing your “soft skills” to improve your promotion chances or seeking a new position with an employer who offers better opportunities for growth.
Here are five ways to help position yourself for long-term career growth:
- Know what energizes, motivates, and inspires you. Sit down and think about what you really love. When you run across an item that energizes, motivates, and inspires you, write it down – whether or not it appears to be career-related. Include not only job-related items, but people and hobbies as well. For instance, your list might include not only “helping people at work” but also “spending time with my family” and “upgrading things around the house.”
- Ask why. Once you have 5-7 items on your list, start asking yourself why you love and feel inspired by each item on the list. Do they all involve working with your hands? Do they give you the chance to spend time with people who really listen to you and support you? Are they all projects in which you got to pursue a new idea or create an item that hadn’t existed before? Look for similar elements in your career in order to maximize your satisfaction with your long-term work.
- Look for jobs that line up with what you love best. Use your list of “whys” to start finding jobs that call for those skills. For example, if your list includes several projects that let you solve problems in creative ways, you might enjoy the entrepreneurial challenge of starting a business or coding computer programs and apps. If your list involves relationships with other people, a job in one of the “helping professions” like social work, nursing, or education.
For now, put aside any negative self-talk about why you can’t possibly make a career switch. Just see what’s out there. Then, sit down with this list and start considering how broad your options really are.
- Think about short-term, concrete changes. Making a career switch can seem impossible when you think of it all at once. Instead, start thinking of smaller ways you can make a shift into a more fulfilling job. Do you have time to take a class? If you start focusing on improving your communication skills, will you be in line for a promotion you’re dreaming of? Create concrete, measurable, realistic goals and share them with family or co-workers you trust who can help you stay on track.
- Work with a recruiter. Your staffing partner can help you find a job that offers the right workplace “fit” so you have everything you need to do your best work. Staffing partners can also introduce you to professionals and opportunities in your field that you may not have considered.
At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our experienced Minnesota recruiters can help you plan for the short and the long term in your career. Contact us today to learn more.