You spend the majority of your day and your life at work, which is why your career is an important aspect of your life. You want to make the most of your career, progress and do something you enjoy. But a career doesn’t just happen overnight.
That’s where ‘career management’ comes in. It’s not something you necessarily need to pay for (although there are people dedicated to helping people manage their careers),It’s about planning your career and project managing the journey from the beginning to the dream end goal, and all that comes between.
Here are the main steps of career management:
Step 1: Self-Assessment
The first thing to do is get a clear picture of you; your strengths and weaknesses, your skills and knowledge, your dreams and worries, your likes and dislikes, everything that impacts your career journey.
For example, are you a strong co-ordinator and good with people? Management could be something you aspire to quickly in your career. But realising you don’t have the right skills to manage people right now doesn’t mean you’ll never be a manager, it just means part of your journey will involve some training and learning to improve on this.
Taking psychometrics tests, talking to friends and family, and colleagues and bosses from previous jobs will all help you to get a true picture of yourself.
Step 2: Do your research
Based on your self-assessment, you should have highlighted some areas for improvement and found what your natural strengths are. Based on what your career goals are, it’s time to start researching how you can improve on your weaknesses and gain further skills and knowledge in the areas that will help you progress in your chosen field.
Career training courses are one way in which people gain the skills and knowledge to progress quickly in their career. These courses are taken in your own time, so they fit around your lifestyle and can be done at your pace, there is no strict start and finish time. You can take short courses to top up or refresh your knowledge, or take diplomas to prepare you for a career change or taking on that next step in your existing career.
Step 3: Plan your progression
Having a plan that you can follow will make achieving those long-term goals more manageable, with short-term targets making it feel more realistic. Set yourself SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant) and rather than deadlines, give yourself a time frame to work to for each objective. For example, in the next six months you will have applied for and begun your career training courses. In the next 12 months, you will have completed your training and be ready to step up and apply for your next role.
Step 4: Put your plans into action
Now you’ve researched and planned what needs to be done, start making it happen! Book courses, speak to career advisors, start your studying and tick off those objectives.
Step 5: Evaluate your progress
This step is something you’ll be doing regularly during step 4. It’s about revisiting your plan at regular intervals during the action stage to see where you’re at and if your actions match up to where you wanted to be at this stage. If you’re not quite on track, what can you do to get back there? Have obstacles come up that have blocked your way and does the plan need adjusting to reflect this?
The plan isn’t a strict document and the time frames are only guides. If things change then the plan can change, but try to follow the plan as much as possible to help you to achieve your career goals.
If you need some support in managing your career, our career advisors are here to help. They can advise you on what steps you need to take based on your goals, and help you to take action. Call us on 01 8404075 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a free appointment.