What do you see yourself doing in five years? Whether you want to change career or gain promotion, you’re not likely to achieve your goal simply by chance.
So if you really want that dream job or swanky new office, you’ll need to plan ahead and take control of your career. Here’s how to do it.
Be sure of what you want
Even if your career is your main priority, it’s worth taking time out to consider the cost of any change before you commit to a plan of action that could take a while to achieve. Take time to think about which aspects of your life outside work keep you happy, healthy and fulfilled, then yourself how these will be affected if you reach your goal.
There’s nothing wrong with making sacrifices for your career as long as you understand the implications for your lifestyle. However, if you begin to have doubts about the commitments involved, it might be worth exploring alternative options that would keep your life in better balance.
Do your research
Once you’re sure you’re on the right track, it’s time to explore whether you need to gain any extra skills. For example, if you want to move into digital marketing, you could research job postings to find out what kind of educational qualifications and experience you’ll need to get an entry level job.
If you need to commit to a course and you’re too busy or cash strapped to attend in person, we recommend taking a look at alternative learning options such as online courses, as these tend to be cheaper and more flexible.
Plan how to get there
To achieve your long-term ambition, you’ll need to break your goals down into bite sized tasks. Begin with your ultimate goal and work backwards, setting yearly, six monthly, monthly and weekly goals that will keep you on track. Breaking weekly goals down into daily tasks also works well. These could include things like updating your CV, following companies on social media and joining relevant Facebook groups.
To ensure success, don’t forget to take your current commitments into account, as you’re aiming to create a schedule that’s challenging without being unrealistic. Things might seem a little slow and unexciting for a while, but it’s worth remembering that every small task you complete is moving you one step closer to your goal.
Visualise your goals
Displaying your goal in writing can help you to stay motivated, so consider writing a statement that encapsulates your career goal and displaying it on your desk or study wall. Every time you read it, visualise yourself sitting in the office of the company you really want to work for and savour the moment!
It’s also worth sharing your aspirations with trusted friends and colleagues, as they may be able to offer advice and support when the going gets tough. Don’t forget to make the most of online networking sites too. LinkedIn is particularly useful for creating connections that could help your career.
Moving towards a long-term career goal can be tough at times, especially if it involves studying on top of a hard day’s work. To keep yourself on track, we recommend celebrating major milestones and rewarding yourself with a little treat every time you reach a goal.
We’re not promising it will be easy, but if you stay focused and follow your plan of action, you have every chance of achieving your ambitions. Good luck!