START AT THE END TO WORK OUT WHERE TO START!
Once you are clear about what you want to achieve, it is far easier to design a way to do so. This can be a long, medium or short term goal if you are unclear where you eventually want to end up in your career. Remember that goals can be reset and re-evaluated at any time – but you do need to start.
There are certain steps that need to be taken to achieve any goal, thus:
Step 1 – Conceive of what you want (job role) in your career – be clear, be specific and be passionate.
Step 2 - Construct a thorough list of skills, attributes, experience and qualifications required by that job role. Note that this may require the help of others and / or some research. The best form of research is to seek out people already doing this role and ask them how they achieved it.
Step 3 - Assess your current reality. Cross-check the skills, attributes, qualifications and assets you currently have against those that you will need.
Step 4 - For all of the remaining requirements that you do not currently have, assess the time each one will require to achieve and whether they can be done concurrently.
Step 5 - Assess the cost and order of each of the requirements of Step 4.
Step 6 - Design the career plan and check if it is realistic.
Step 7 - START.
- Find someone who is currently doing the role that you want and ask them for information about how they got to that stage. Ask them about the time frames, the costs and where to find other resources relating to the career path.
- Investigate the current industry trends and qualifications required to succeed. In many industries (certainly in Australia), there are new standards being applied every day and you need to be aware of them.
- Be brutally honest about your current reality and be just as honest when assessing time frames and possibilities. Unrealistic pressures can be very demotivating.
- Do not forget to thoroughly investigate costs because you must be able to afford to achieve things. Finance management is covered in a later tutorial.
- Treat your career plan as a LIVE document (i.e. can change if circumstances dictate).
- Do not forget to MONITOR your progress and results. The only way to check the quality of work is to monitor it and make adjustments where necessary to improve overall performance. That is why it is important to set objectives for each step of your career plan BEFOREHAND – so that they become milestones along the pathway to learning. Because this is a “Self Discovery” program, clear objectives will assist you to better decide the activities that are relevant to your own situation.