There is a time in our lives where we feel like drifting between the stretch of days and months. We work hard but we really don’t seem to get in any worthwhile position in our lives. The main reason for having such feelings is that we haven’t aimed for something from the start. Most of us got a job after graduation and sticking to it seemed liked the right thing to do at that time because it paid the bills. And those who have an aim, are too hard on themselves by setting unrealistic goals to climb the career ladder of success too early or before they’re ready. This can result in a realization of a “self-created” sense of failure – that you’re not doing good enough or you’re wasting away your life even after having a respectable job. For a more satisfying work life it is important to set realistic and attainable career goals.
• Create a clear vision statement for your career
Before planning your career, you need to have a clear picture in your mind of what you want your career to look like in the coming future. Your career vision constitutes a clear mental image of what you aspire to become and what motivates you in your work life. Spelling out your vision statement for your career is the first step towards reaching your career goals. You can follow these simple steps to create a clear vision of what you want to achieve in your career.
1) Devote a reasonable amount of time to defining your career vision. It is not something that you should just rush in to just for the sake of “having a career”. Keep in mind, it is better to give something this important proper thought rather than rushing into something and regretting it later. Be patient and remember that it may take several efforts and incorrect decisions in the beginning before things begin to clear out and you begin realizing what your ideal future looks like.
2) Try asking some of these questions to help get your mind working and your inspiration coming out of its shell.
3) After giving enough thought to it, write your career vision in a brief paragraph. Consider writing everything in the present tense as if you’re on the track to achieve it. This sets the right frame of mind and vision in front of you rather than keeping it in the future.
4) Once you have a career vision written down, say it out loud every morning before going out and place it on various places in your house such as on your desk, refrigerator, dresser mirror etc. so that you’re able to see it in every corner and it gets engraved in your mind.
• Make a career plan
After creating your career vision, it’s time to make a career plan by developing long-term career goals and the activities you need to perform to achieve these goals. These goals will help you define your career plans. Therefore, it is necessary to set realistic goals that you can achieve while performing other life duties as well.
For instance, your long-term career goal is to become the head of the IT team of your company. For this you need to evaluate your skills and perform the following activities:
Talk with the senior manager of your company, or people in this career who have achieved a similar level position, to develop a list of realistic activities you need to perform. This will give you a general idea of the do’s and don’ts for your goal.
*Speak to a diverse group of people to see there’s more than one path to pursue your goal.
Perform a self-evaluation to determine whether you’re actually qualified or equipped with enough experience to get the position you’re aiming for. If not, take online courses to get specialized certifications or consider going to evening school for higher education.
Test what you’ve learned from your training and continuing education by using it at work or doing freelance work.
Ask your boss to manage a small team for a simple project or train the new interns so your capabilities are visible in your workplace.
• Follow your career plan
After setting your career goals and making your career plan it’s time to set your career plan in motion. You need to perform the following activities to stick to your career plan.
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