Where do you want to be?
How do you shape your career? Firstly, you need to have a clear idea of where you want to go and why. As most successful sports people and management texts will testify, visualising success is key. You need to picture where you might want to be in 3, 5 or even 10 years. It can seem quite an abstract task at first but with a little focus on each element of your role, you should be able to establish what your preferences might be and shape your future. Try answering the questions below to help identify what you want from your next role:
This is not a comprehensive list of questions you should ask yourself but hopefully it will encourage further self-appraisal which will help you better understand how your career might take shape in the next few years.
The second part of your plan is to appreciate the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Consider the question:
What do you need to do to get there?
Once you’ve understood what your preferred environment might be and the kind of roles you might be looking at, you need to grasp what it might take to put yourself in that position. You need to think about the:
This needs to be done as soon as possible because attaining skills and qualifications can take time. A healthy dose of self-awareness at the start of your journey may help you head-off in the right direction and save time later on.
Shaping yourself for success is a long-term game and one with no short cuts. It demands commitment. It’s important to physically draft a plan of action and stick to it. You might want to write the CV of the person you would want to be in 5 or 10 years time and tick off the attributes as you develop them. Tiger Woods does a similar thing, covering his office wall with all of Jack Nicklaus’s achievements - every major, every tournament win – and he crosses them off one by one as he matches him, title for title. This may seem dramatic but its the kind of focus that is required in an increasingly competitive business environment.
When asking successful candidates how they’ve achieved what they’ve achieved, one strong theme that comes through is how proactive they’ve been in deliberately planning their career path in its formative years. In this way they’ve put themselves in the frame for roles further down the line. Shaping your career is about building a track record which makes you attractive to your potential employer. You then need to display this history in the best way possible (click here for our CV writing school) and then present yourself in the most effective way at interview (click here for our interview technique advice). Good luck and don’t hesitate to contact us at any stage. We are here to help you manage and advance your career from the outset.