Being a leader in the learning and development industry, we come in contact with a range of professionals. Professionals who are at the start of their careers, professionals who are honing their skills to advance in their current, and professionals who are looking to change their career.
Whatever way you want to advance in your career, you need to have extensive planning and focus. As we cater to the learning needs of various individuals, we have noticed that individuals considering making a change in their career path are often clueless rather confused about how to move forward.
Therefore, we have listed out a few tips that will help you grow in your career.
Things You Should Take Into Action To Achieve Success And Fulfillment In Your Career
No matter what your career goals are, there are certain core actions that will help you achieve greater fulfillment and success in the long run of your professional life. These actions will let you understand your true calling and will support you to build and sustain your desired professional identity, even through the tough times.
So, here we reveal our suggested action plan:
This is, perhaps, the most important action you need to take if you want to achieve anything in life. You should understand exactly what you want and what matters most to you. Identify what you like and what you do not like about your profession. This involves a lot of deep thinking about your current career. Ponder upon your satisfactions and dissatisfaction in your career.
This reflection will help you gain an understanding whether a lateral movement within the organization would suit you better than a full career change or if it is the time to move on for a better future.
Evaluate your current job satisfaction
Identify and evaluate what you like and dislike about your current job. Keep notes of your daily activities and how you respond to your work related situations. If possible, maintain a journal of your daily reactions to your job situation and look for recurring incidents.
Try to understand the aspects of your current job that you dislike. Aso ponders if your dissatisfactions are related to the content of your work, your organization culture or your peers, colleagues or supervisors.
Assess Your Interests
Assess past roles that you have performed successfully. Review any work that you have volunteered or projects and jobs that you have actively taken part, to identify the activities and skills you prefer. Determine if your core values and skills are aligned with your current career.
Also, revisit and take note of your accomplishments. Reviewing your past accomplishments can help you decide if you need a career shift you have been planning.
As you discover what you have enjoyed about your current job, you will be able to identify particular career niches that might suit these interests. This is also the time to acknowledge your personal values and what you are willing to sacrifice to reach your new goals.
Research Your Transferable Skills
We have seen when individuals change their career there are worries that they might have to start from scratch. However, there are many such skills that are transferable to other professions, when you take a look at them broadly instead of taking a micro perspective.
For example, somebody who has invested years filling in as a Human Resources Manager has a large set of skills that are transferable and can be useful for consultation work, facilitation and organization of events, conflict resolution, hiring policies, crisis communication, etc.
Consider alternative careers
Now that you have you have assessed and evaluated your likes and dislikes, new career options must have sprung up in your mind. Research on these new career options and brainstorm ideas for other career alternatives. Discuss your core values and skills with peers, family, and networking contacts.
However, you must focus on the upsides and downsides of the professions, in terms of locations, salary, necessary education or training, and growth opportunities. This part of the career planning activity might seem exhausting, but this would give you a precise list as you find the best options for your transformation. Cut the list to no more than two or three options.
Set up a job shadow
Given that you have your top two or three alternative listed, it is time to shadow professionals working in fields of your primary interest so that you can observe work first hand. Devote anywhere between a few hours and a few days job shadowing people who have jobs of your interest.
In addition to offering direct exposure to the field, this will provide you a valuable networking opportunity in the future. Ask enough questions so that you are correctly informed about the careers. It is wise to shadow with more than one person from different agencies to ensure you get a larger spectrum of experience.
Create a S.M.A.R.T. action plan
Preparing an action plan will help you to organize your thoughts besides providing a checklist as you step forward.
Follow the S.M.A.R.T. method of designing a plan by asking yourself the following questions for every goal –
- Is it Specific?
- Is it Measurable?
- Is it Achievable?
- Is it Realistic?
- Is it Time-Bound?
Leveraging the S.M.A.R.T. method will assist you to assign yourself with specific responsibilities that you will be able to maintain. At this phase of your career plan, set timelines for each of your goals and abide by them. This is the time when you choose the exit date from your current career (if you are willing to) regardless of how far away it is.
Train Yourself and Upgrade Your Skills
Search for training opportunities that would bridge your background to your new career. Enroll for classroom training programs or an online course. Spend some time on webinar or expert forums. It is also advisable to go for certifications as they verify your domain knowledge and stand as a proof of your skills to your employers.
Also, try to explore opportunities to develop new skills in your current job which would help you prepare for a change. Sign up for in-house training, if available.
While searching for new opportunities, look for a new job in the same industry. You may look for alternative roles within your current industry which would let you utilize the domain knowledge you already have. Start your job search when you are three to six months away from completing the needed training or the date you expect to quit your present job.
Job searching is a tedious process. Therefore, the earlier you start, the sooner you will be able to find your desired job. Also, practice for interviews. This will help you identify if you are lacking any skills, and in turn, will help you gain more knowledge in the new area.
Do not forget to write a cover letter that reflects your aspirations, as well a resume that emphasizes your new goals when you apply for new jobs.
As you transition to your new career, the aforementioned steps would assist you to have a seamless shift. Preparing for the change is the biggest hurdle that is encountered by professionals. Therefore make sure that you plan well in advance and follow it to ensure your success.