Deciding on a career is one of the biggest decisions people ever make in their lifetime. This is because it is trying to decide what it is they would like to do for the rest of their life to support their family. Think about what types of decisions you’ll have to make along the way of your chosen career path such as furthering your education and getting hands-on experience.
One of the best ways to figure out if the career you are looking at is something you would like to do for the rest of your life is to look into what the employers want from those in that career. These qualifications may be something that you currently have that you can excel in or something that you would like to research further. If you need to research further, do you need to plan to get advanced education for it, or do you need hands-on experience with them?
Here are some tips for strategic career planning:
Take the time to review your strengths. What do you enjoy doing the most with your time? Think about your motivations, things that interest you, and decide how it is related to your personality. What are your best skills and use them to the fullest, but also take the time to see what your weaknesses are?
We all have weaknesses. We sometimes refer to them as blind spots that will impact the strategies needed to take critical career decisions. Once you know these weaknesses, see if they are something that you can improve on your own or if it is something that you need to look into further education.
2. Personality Test
There are different personality tests available online and in libraries. Take the time to test yourself or have yourself tested to see where you stand regarding your personality. There are tests available to do performance reviews to see which careers would work best for you for your personality and which ones would be the least fitting.
Once you have decided your career goal, it’s time to sit down and develop a vision of what it is you’d like to get and by when. When setting a time for the goal, try to keep an open mind that there will be things that will set you back, such as family, other jobs, and education that may be necessary. Setting a goal will keep you motivated. Use the SMART strategy: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timed.
Some careers may be in specific locations, so where the career is located may be something to think about. Is it something you have to live in a city or is it something you can do living in the country? Do you need to be in an office or is it something you could do from home?
How about the fact that it may be a full-time career, part-time job, or is it something you can run on your own as a self-business. How about the differences in the income levels that you predict and those that will change based on the different locations.
If making more money is one of your strategic career goals, don’t feel bad. That can be a great motivation, just like wanting to have more time to spend with your family. Maybe making more money can be a motivation to make you more productive, to further your education, or training, to get new experiences, or to improve on your professional relationships with others. However, it doesn’t matter which way you get it in the end, your finances will increase as long as your motivation and accomplishments do too.
See if you can find someone to act as a counselor or mentor. They can help you step forward in planning your career and most of the time they have experience in knowing what is necessary for the career that you’re looking at. They will also help hold you accountable for achieving the steps towards your career. If you do not know someone that’s directly related to the career you’re looking at, try LinkedIn. Sometimes you can find experienced career advisors or mentors.
There are both long-term and short-term career planning strategies available. Usually, the long-term strategy is to fulfill a big goal, however, take short-term strategies to get a long-term strategy so that you can feel the advancement and achievements. To do this, remember to continue to review and update yourself on what you have accomplished. Short-term achievements on your applications and resumes show that you have been planning your career, which shows ambition.
Always be open to learning new strategies. Careers that may seem as accomplished will change soon enough. Always be ready to keep up with the changes in the way we do things today, but also look to the future and the way things are changing. New things are developed, people have different expectations, so a lifetime of learning needs to be part of your strategic career. To do this, you need to remain flexible and willing to step above and beyond normal expectations by doing things like continuing education.
Make sure to always watch your health, eat well, and get regular exercise to make sure that you stay healthy. Every once in a while, you sit down and look at your career and make sure that you are still happy with where you are going and that you’re not getting frustrated or burned out.
Sometimes it may just be that you need to read an article or simply take a vacation so you can have a fresh view when you come back. Make it an opportunity to celebrate your achievement and while you celebrate your achievements, you’re making yourself healthier.
10. Assess the Threats
Try to predict the future impediments that you will face like what has stopped you before. Has it been motivation, money, family, time, or something else? Have these issues changed since then and what else can you do about them now to prevent them?
It is time to make it so that what you want now is the goal and that there isn’t a threat holding you back. Don’t let what was an impairment before be a stopper now, show that impairment that the new career is its impairment now.
Planning Your Career Path
Take the time to look at what the current lifestyle is in the present times and what the goal is for the future. Changing a career can take time and make it so that there will need to be changes and sacrifices. However, know that in the future, these changes and sacrifices will end and it will all be better. You can have a new career, a change of employment, a better location, the opportunity to move ahead, and to have and do all the things that were always just a dream.