While growing up, we were often asked what we would like to be. As small children, our answer is obviously always incredibly basic and typically influenced by the careers we are frequently exposed to: doctor, pharmacist, engineer, and lawyer to mention a few. Even after we’ve reached adulthood, sometimes our ideas of career opportunities can be pretty narrow. Pretty much everyone has goals, but the quality that separates good candidates from the great ones is that a great applicant will actively be taking steps to achieve those goals. No wonder, professionals who are in careers today tends to change jobs much more frequently than in previous generations. Therefore, you need to be prepared and proactive in order to reach your career. These alternative ways will help you to reach your career goals as quickly as possible;
1. UNDERSTAND YOUR DEAL BREAKERS
A friend once told me that, given the choice of going to a get-together with friends or studying, he’d probably have to study. Will one party ruin his career? Certainly no-but he would have to eventually make up the work he missed. This kind of give and take is necessary when working forward to your career goal. The important thing is to be realistic, find balance, and before you get too far along, define your true deal breakers. For example; if you love to travel or want a family, but your career is going to be happy” Or, if the career you’re working toward isn’t making the impact you thought it would, are you really committed to continue on that path for several more years? The key here is to be both realistic about the sacrifices you will have to make to stay on track and honest about where you want to draw the line. Having these defined before you, run into them will give you peace of mind. You’ll be able to enjoy the journey more when you know exactly what you’re willing to do to achieve your goal as well as when you’ll stop if things aren’t going as planned. If you enjoy the path to your career and allow it to add richness to your life (instead of taking away from it), it will be a lot easier to reach your goal and stay content with everything else in your life while you do it.
2. HAVE A WELL STRUCTURED PLAN
A well structured plan will give you good direction. Make a plan and write down what you want to achieve in a given period. For example, let’s assume six months; you need to break it down to a week-by-week schedule. Whether it’s a long term or short term plan, make it detailed and try to stick to it. Good intentions will always give you good focus.
3. EMBRACE THE CHALLENGES
There are going to be times on your career track when you want to give up or hit a plateau. All of a sudden, the hard work won’t seem worth the pain, and all you’ll be able to think is, “Why bother?” There will also be people who say you can’t both find success and do what you love and those who will be more than happy to point out that you might fail completely. My advice is that, you should let those criticisms only make you stronger and more determined.
4. SET UP LUNCHTIME CONVERSATIONS WITH INFUENCERS
Connect with the shakers and movers within your organization to develop mutual relationships; if a special project or a higher position opens, they will be more likely to think of you. Your internal company network is important to your career success. Create a list of people within the organization, whom you know personally and professionally and ask to have lunch or a phone or Skype conversation for career advice, information sharing or just to get to know them better. Remember, it is not what you know but who you know, that will help you get ahead.
5. PERSISTENCE AND PATIENCE
It’s simple. When you take your time to work hard for something you often get rewarded. Stick protectively to your big plan to make it better. Rise to the challenges you set yourself, face each hurdle as it comes and grow in confidence.
6. BELIEF IN YOURSELF
Believe in yourself and what you’re capable of. Criticism can knock you off your career journey. Sometimes it can inspire it. Most times, it’s about how you accept. Make honest targets, stay focused on your plan and reach high.