A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. We have heard about this quote hundreds of times but what it fails to teach us is how to take the initial step. Finding your way to the top starts with creating a successful career plan. Here’s what career experts say about navigating your way to success.
Create a game plan The problem with finding your way to the top is not how to get there, it’s the long wait ahead of you. Instead of going full-speed ahead and jumping at every job opportunity thrown your way, celebrated career coach Deborah Brown-Volkman suggests slowing down and taking the time to figure out your long-term goal. Create a game plan to help you with specific actions you need to take to get to the top.
Here are 8 Tips to Help You Start a Successful Game Plan:
1. Build Your Network: Building both your personal and professional network can help you solidify your game plan. The testimonials of people around you will prove helpful in forging relationships with your employers. Whether you’re thinking of moving up your current work or moving into a different industry altogether, the power of the connections you build will help you get to where you want to be faster.
2. Build Your Skill Sets: Work on improving your existing skill sets or opt to learn new ones. Employers will always look at the things you bring with you to the table. Increase your value in the job market by updating or adding new skills to your existing professional portfolio.
3. Maintain A Balanced Personal-Professional Relationships: Moving up the corporate ladder is important but don’t let it get in the way of your personal life. Maintain a healthy balance when juggling your personal and professional responsibilities so you don’t put the relationships you’ve made in jeopardy.
4. Find Out What Makes You Happy And Then Go For It: Curt Rosengren, career coach and “Passion Catalyst” talks about going after things that make you happy. This applies to finding and planning for a successful career too. Curt asserts that while you may be able to do it well, sustaining it is a different matter. Choose a career that’s in line with what you’re happy doing and you’ll never have to worry about maintaining your momentum, ever.
Start a list of times you feel very happy at work and think about what you were doing or working on during that time. Assess what about your current work you like and what about it you don’t. Ask yourself if you are willing to continue and how long will you be able to sustain your efforts. Your honest evaluation of your personal feelings towards work will help you decide if it’s something worth pursuing.
5. Understand Who YOU Are Understanding your own personality will give you a leg up in completing a successful career plan. Search the internet and look for free personality tests, such as the Myers-Briggs Test, The Kiersey Temperament sorter and the DISC profile. Do a few of these over the course of a month and compare the results. Each personality profile comes with advice on which careers would suit your personality. Understanding who YOU are will help guide you in making a successful career plan that is in-line with the type of personality you possess.
6. Plan a Big Vision: Career Consultant Heather Carpenter stresses the importance of keeping your eye on the prize. There will be disappointments, hiccups, and road bumps along the way and allowing them to break your focus and concentration will be your downfall. Brown-Volkman adds that there is nothing wrong with getting greedy when identifying your goals. Add finding a successful career into your wish list so you’re always clear on where you want to go and what you need to do to get there.
Create something similar to a vision board or a a dream board. This will help you lock in to what you wish to achieve in your career. Whenever you feel like you’re losing your way and getting distracted, use your vision or dream board to steer you back on track.
7. Maintain a Positive Attitude: Judy Zerafa, author of “7 Keys to Career Success” ranks having a positive attitude as the first key to achieving career success. Attitude plays an important role in helping you find your way to the top. Adopt a positive attitude and use it to fuel your plan to succeed. With hard work, a solid career plan, and lots of positive attitude, finding your way to become much easier.
Come up with your own personal mantra or look for one on the internet. This will help condition your mind and feed it with positive energy. It will also help prevent you from sinking into depression or giving in to feelings of helplessness when things do not go your way.
8. Go for It! Once you have planned your career, the final step to completing a successful career plan is to go for it with passion. Brown-Volkman enthuses that you should never stop and give up. Don’t let doubt or uncertainly cloud your judgment. Push forward, continue with your vision and implement your strategy according to your plans. When you’ve come this far, the way to the top is well within your reach.
Take time to revisit your career plan once in a while. The key to ensuring its success depends on your commitment and dedication. At the end of the day, you are responsible for what you wish to achieve in your career. A successful career plan will help you achieve your career goals faster and make your climb to the top easier.
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