Creating your career path involves understanding which knowledge, skills, and experience are needed for lateral career moves, then forming a plan to do what’s necessary to reach your goals. Implementing a thoroughly developed, written, employer-supported career plan leads to a rewarding career performing work you love. Knowing your desired destination and the development needed to get there provides direction, career assessment, and opportunities to achieve milestones along the way. Here are six ways to develop your career path for 2020.
Reflect on Your Career
Think about the career path you’re on. Decide whether it fits with your values, skills, and passions. Consider whether your career suits your goals and lifestyle. Determine what you could have done better or differently and what you can change. Think about what you like and dislike about your job and what you want and need. Determine what you could do that’s meaningful and engaging.
Record Your Achievements
Write down your work accomplishments. Include awards and recognition you’ve received, quantifiable data about how you made or saved employer money, and specific other ways you added value to an organization. Use your list to find indicators of what you’re best at, love doing, and should continue to pursue professionally.
Write Down Your Transferrable Skills
Keep a list of transferrable skills. They may be valuable for other roles or a career change. For instance, you may be a financial analyst with project management experience that can apply to other positions. Think about other career interests involving these skills and how future employers may benefit from them.
Determine what you want your career to look like and how to get there. Include specific things you want to accomplish in your career this year. Set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals. Write them down, then share them with a close friend or colleague. Ask the person to hold you accountable.
Talk with Your Manager
Ask your manager about opportunities for promotions, transfers, or lateral moves. Find out what knowledge, skills, and experience are needed to advance. Request job descriptions and specifications, required competencies, and training classes to meet those requirements. Ask for job shadowing, coaching, and mentoring opportunities. Use these resources to advance your career.
Create a Plan
Develop a plan to attain your goals. Include your interests and skills in determining how to get to where you want to go. You may need additional education, training, or experience before beginning your job search. Or, perhaps you have to decide among career choices. Develop a list of pros and cons. Evaluate how each path aligns with your values. Consider the potential results of each path. Determine which direction is best for you. Write down steps to make your goals reality. Check your progress each week. Make adjustments as needed.