Since career paths are no longer a straight line, first, establish where you are now and understand the context of your unique path.
- What does career success look like for you in the next five years? What about the next five months? For most, this is a tough question to answer, especially with all of the unknowns in our world and workplaces. It's a question that requires some self-exploration and starts by taking a look at where you are today. So let's start there by examining your current career situation. When's the last time you paused and really thought about the changes you've endured over the last few years? What's been the impact of those changes on your overall success and happiness? According to the most recent Gallup report, more than half of the workforce is disengaged.
Many attribute this decline to large numbers of young professionals, or millennials, entering the workplace. The interesting thing is that the data tells us that more experienced segments of the workforce aren't that far behind. This means that as change in our world accelerates, our expectations about work are shifting. And these shifts are impacting our ability to define what success looks like. The first step you can take in creating a career vision is to do an inventory about what you like and dislike about your current work situation.
I've provided a career map worksheet in the Exercise Files, and you can record your responses in part one. To get a good glimpse of how you feel about your current career situation, I've written a set of statements for you to evaluate. You can agree or disagree with each one by replying with a yes or a no. In this exercise, you'll evaluate your job fit, your company and industry, your team, and your values. After evaluating yourself, is there any category that seems to have more yeses? What about nos? There's no magic number of either response that can give you a definitive answer as to what your next career step should be.
However, the more nos you have indicates the less engaged you probably are. When you look at your assessment results, what conclusions can you draw? A great place to start is to look at each statement you responded with a no and ask yourself, is this something I want to change? If you could redesign your career, what would you keep, eliminate, or alter? Are the trade-offs you're making working for you? If not, then it may be time to make a change.
Sometimes when we feel frustrated or stuck, we immediately think we're on the wrong path. But when we stop and identify the specific areas that aren't working for us and the ones that are, we can start to create a path forward that's not only actionable, but most importantly, fulfilling.
- How the workplace has changed
- Creating a career vision
- Creating short- and long-term goals
- Mobilizing: Identifying resources, mentors, and your online brand