How to Manage Your Career
Take control of your career by following these seven simple steps.
Do you feel trapped in your job? Or are you frustrated that your career hasn't turned out the way you'd hoped?
If you long for change but can't see a way forward, don't despair!
There are a number of things you can do to help you manage your career, both now and in the future.
First, you need to learn more about yourself. Try doing a self-test to find out more about your thinking style and your personality type.
The Big Five Personality Traits Model is a good starting point and one that you can carry out for free, online. It, and other similar tests, can give you some pointers on what role or responsibilities might suit you best.
Next, carry out a Personal SWOT Analysis to identify your strengths and weaknesses, and examine the opportunities and threats they present. This will help you to make the most of your strengths and decide what skills you need to improve.
Finding career direction is not simply about matching your strengths to a role. Just because you're good at something doesn't automatically mean that you want to do it as a job.
Only you will know whether you'll be bored or uncomfortable in a role. So, think carefully about the key qualities you want from your job. Do you want to work independently or in a team, for instance? Do you want a more creative role, or would you prefer to have a more structured workload? And what values does your employer need to have?
Let yourself dream about the possibilities. If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
Now, set yourself some concrete, realistic goals that will allow you explore some of the things that you have identified as being important to you.
Doing this will help to turn your vision into a mission that will keep you motivated through any obstacles that you encounter on your way.
Dreams can inspire us, but they can also leave us dissatisfied with our current situation.
You can avoid this by channelling your desire for change in a positive way. Use the new perspective you have gained to transform where you are now.
For example, think about ways you can shape your current role so that it's a better "fit."
Are there any opportunities to take on new or different responsibilities that you're interested in? Is there any way you can improve current processes to generate better results? Or are there any training opportunities that you'd like to take advantage of?
Finally, it's important that others recognize your achievements too. If they don't, you risk being left behind.
Use appropriate and professional strategies to get noticed. Keep track of your accomplishments, build your network, and stay up-to-date on the latest company- and industry-wide developments.
So, when will you know when to stop managing your career? When will you have finally arrived at your desired destination? The answer is: it depends.
You might find the goal that once seemed out of grasp is now well within your reach. If this happens, don't let your career drift again. Set yourself a new goal.
Alternatively, you might find that somewhere along the way your career goal has changed. Perhaps you now want less responsibility, so that you can enjoy a better work-life balance. If this is the case, revisit the steps that we've covered again and see how you can make this possible.
The one essential is to avoid becoming trapped in a career that you really don't like or want, and to focus on taking back control of it!
To learn more about managing your career, read the article that accompanies this video.