THE period of time that we spend in working a particular job so many times that we get a reputation for doing that particular job is our career. Therefore, it is necessary that we manage our career correctly: to keep track of its progress, its lack of progress and take a pro-active approach on how to make it a living.
Here maybe a few reasons why some of us neglect these key elements in finding and growing in one’s career:
Probably, the reason is laziness. Effective career planning is work. It takes thinking, research and continued effort. For instance. if it requires reading two relevant books every month, it does you no good to read the “24 books” on December 31, you can’t expect positive long-term results with your chosen career.
Many are afraid of failing. At the first sign of a lack of success, they stop the process. When their goals are not met, they blame the plan and all activity stops. Usually, abundance of meaningful experiences and a well-thought-out career plan go hand-in-hand.
If one of these reasons may pertain to you, here are some necessary steps to start anew in your career path:
Take action, start now. Taking action to reach smaller goals makes the over-all success of the plan much more certain and surely much more successful. A flexible plan in a plain spiral notebook in which you write down ideas, keep track of progress and add relevant goals has a much greater chance of success. On the other hand, a beautifully done career plan in a leather burgundy binder that sits on a shelf gathering dust is worthless.
Be realistic in setting your career goals. Start with small, easily reached goals. As you move toward your vision of your future, your more ambitious plans will be built on your previous successes. Make sure your plan is doable and as you get the experience, your plans can be more aggressive.
Use numbers in your plan. If you plan on reading two career-related books every month for two years, at the end of each month, you can measure your progress.
Keep moving, small efforts everyday will always win against a big push once a month. There will be barriers and missteps; keep up the effort. Take a new approach by looking at your goals from a different direction. Whenever necessary, get help when you become stuck. Be flexible and keep moving forward.
Create winning career plans. Working a career plan can develop unplanned benefits. You attend a workshop to increase your skills and you meet someone who tells you about a career opportunity. You read a book and write an article that is published on the Internet and it leads to a contact by a recruiter. You embark on a course of self-study and your employer enters into providing a new service and you have the knowledge to leverage your new skills into a promotion.
May we bear in mind that as long as we’re being realistic in our over-all approach, we can keep on advancing in our career, if we are interested, even after age 50.