Is your career at a stand still or worst, are you at a loss at what to do next? Have you lost your way?
It is easy to lose your way, be stuck in a rut or just be confused about what you want to do with your life when it come to working. You might have ideas and there may be close family and friends throwing suggestions at you; but all the same you are unsure abut what to do next.
Get your career back on track
First of all, you need a plan. A plan of action that is realistic and something you know you can follow. It is more than likely that the plan will not be straightforward in so much as it will not be a straight line, but more like stepping stones and building blocks until you reach your goal.
Within this career plan, there will be a lot of homework and much research to be done. The more career information you have to base your decision on the better the career choices will be. It will be a voyage of self-discovery. Whatever it is, it will take some time, and the more preparation you make the more likely you are to be successful and to find the right career for you.
And remember, that throughout your career you may find yourself working in different jobs, to gain experience, to hone your skills and to increase your self-knowledge.
How to create a career plan
- What do you like to do? If you could do anything that made you leap out of bed in the morning and look forward to going to work, what do you think it would be? Your career should be something that satisfies you, a job where you are happy and content, doing things you like. This is the start of your career research, finding out about yourself and what excites you and gives you energy. Not sure how to go about this, take a test.
- What are you good at and what skills do you want to use? Plot out the skills you enjoy using, the ones that people recognise as your strengths. Think about the career fields where you could put them to good use. Again, if you are unsure about your skills, perhaps take time to talk to a professional and complete some self-report questionnaires*.
- What fields of work are you interested in ? More research is required to explore in-depth related fields of interest and to look at job families. Research can be by talking to people who have jobs in different industries, who have certain job titles or are just people you recognise as being successful and happy, and you are curious to understand what they do. Use could also use a career exploration site.
- Now you are beginning to draw a picture of where you might be happy at work, using skills you have and doing something you are interested in, you will have to find out how you can be qualified to do the job. What qualifications will you need and what is the best route for you to take to get to the position you want? It might require some study or it might need some work experience. Either way, the considerations need to be part of your overall career plan.
- Networking comes in to play during career research and meeting people who are already working in a job that you are interested is will be one of your objectives. You will want to learn from them, ask them pertinent and relevant questions about their particular career path and the lessons they have learnt and the best/worst things about their job. [pullquote]You can learn a lot from other people’s experiences and perhaps even gain a mentor to support your overall career quest. [/pullquote] An internship is another way of gaining some experience before committing yourself to a particular career path. Build your online network with LinkedIn and gather more research through your connections.
- At this point in your career plan you will need to take time to weigh up the pros and cons of all your research, your self-knowledge and all the choices you have. Do some more investigating until you can be clear about the way forward. And finally you might need to sign up for some further training or specialist studying to ensure that you have the right credentials to start your job search.
- Keep positive, and focused. Most successful careers are second or third jobs at least.It is most unusual to settle in one job straight from school and be content and prosperous. Think of each job you take as one of the stepping stones and building blocks.
Just remember that as with all plans, and career paths are no exception, they do not need to be set in stone and the journey can turn out to be tortuous, an adventure as well as good fun. You can gain friends, skills, knowledge and experience along the way and end up with a definitive career that will be worth having.
For information on self-report questionnaires, please contact Lynn. Our next blog will also give you more information.
With over 20 years of consultancy experience in career management and Level A & B British Psychological Society qualified, Lynn Tulip is able to use a wide number of leading edge psychometric tools including 4G, Wave, OPQ, Hogan, SHL, 16PF5, MBTI, Profiling for Success, WGCTA, RANRA to support informed decisions for career transition, professional and personal effectiveness.
Highly experienced in providing 1:1 coaching and support to professionals facing job redundancy/ career transition / seeking employment. She is author of Get That Job and Can’t Get That Job.