Improving yourself is a never-ending journey, and that’s especially true of your career. Technology, culture, and trends all change what workplaces are like, meaning your job and your responsibilities there are not going to remain stagnant. And since that’s true, you can’t remain the same either.
In writing for the Wall Street Journal, Alex Janin shares advice for how to plan what direction to move your career in next. Whether you’re just starting out or in the middle of your career, everyone can benefit from having a strategy.
Figure Out Your Must-Haves
We try to appear flexible for potential employers, but we all have some things we can’t budge on. You might check all the boxes for the position’s qualifications, but it could still be a bad fit for other reasons.
If they want you to be able to work a varying schedule and you value being able to have consistent free time, accepting that job will probably make you become resentful before long.
Be introspective and figure out if you’re willing to relocate, if you need to be remote for now, if you enjoy working solo, and all the other aspects of the job that could be dealbreakers for you.
Talk to the People You Respect
You no doubt have people that immediately come to mind when you envision success in the field that interests you. These could be former professors, friends, acquaintances you have interacted with professionally. If these are people who you want to be like, it only makes sense that you could learn a lot by inquiring how they got to be where they are.
This of course doesn’t mean they will give you a job or anything that instantaneous. But they could certainly help point you in the right direction to get where you want to go.
Identify Your Skills
Even if you are looking for a totally different career, that doesn’t you are starting from scratch. You developed skills from your job and it only makes sense to transfer them if possible. If you can figure out a career you’re passionate about that utilizes what you already know, that’s very valuable.
Take stock of what you have learned, or even ask others what they think you are good at if you want an outsider’s perspective. You don’t want to restart from square one just because you’re starting something new.
For a more in-depth discussion on steps you can take to help your career, read the Wall Street Journal article here.