It has been established by many career experts that pursuing a career is far more rewarding than focusing entirely on a job. In this fast pace world, it is difficult to find and keep a job for so long. The term ‘job security’ almost doesn’t apply. With the high level of uncertainty all around us, it is important to learn how to identify and build your career in a way that would help you to thrive through turbulent economic times. Here are 7 Powerful keys you could use to build a successful career path for yourself.
1. IT ALL BEGINS WITH YOUR PURPOSE
We are not created to merely exist and pay bills. There is a purpose for our existence. Until we find and pursue that purpose, life would continue to be an endless string of struggles and fruitless pursuits. In discovering your purpose, you must find answers to the following questions; what are you naturally good at? What are you passionate about? What gives you the greatest joy/fulfillment? It is only when you find answers to these questions that you can truly begin to have a rewarding career.
2. HAVE A CLEAR VISION
While purpose is the reason for your existence, vision is a picture of your future. The best way to predict your future is to create it. What is the big picture for you? Can you picture what your future would be like in 10, 15, 20 years from now? Having a clear picture of your future gives your life more direction and helps you to channel all your resources into building a career that aligns with your purpose.
3. SET CAREER GOALS
Goals are the vehicle that transforms our vision into reality. Once you know your purpose and you have a clear picture of your future, then it is time to take those steps by setting SMART goals. For your goals to be effective it must be Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Time bound. Goals can take the following format; Get my ICAN certification not more than 1 year from now. Read one book related to my field once every month etc.
4. DEVELOP THE SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND COMPETENCE
Every career path has a range of critical success factors that distinguish high fliers from the rest of the pack. Identifying these factors are crucial to your success in building your career path. Your job is to absolutely be clear on what they are in relation to your job/position and then grade yourself in each of them accordingly. For example in management the critical success factors are the following 7 skills: Planning, Organising, Staffing, Delegating, Supervising, Measuring and Reporting (According to Brian Tracy). You can find out these factors by asking people who are successful in the chosen field of your career. Your goal is to identify were you fall short and plan to develop this competence (through training, reading, networking, mentorship etc).
5. HAVE CAREER MENTORS
“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants,” Isaac Newton. There is no place you want to go to that people have not gone before. It would save you a lot of time if you are humble enough to learn at the feet of those who have gone ahead of you. Mentors help you to prevent costly mistakes and help you to grow quickly by preventing you from re-inventing the wheel. Learning from the experience of a mentor would give you leverage and save you a lot of time and resources. Make the effort to look for mentors that would support you in your career path. Interestingly, individuals who have had successful careers are looking for opportunities to pass on their wealth of knowledge and experience to the next generation.