Working out where you want your career to go is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Nothing is worse than spending the prime years of your life pursuing a career that doesn’t truly make you happy. So, rather than dreading going into work every morning, spend a bit of time working out what you want your next career move to be. Once you know where you want to go, all you have to do is make it happen. Knowing you’re moving along the right career ladder is one of the best ways to obtain real fulfilment so take a look at our tips to help you get your foot on that first, pivotal rung.
Know What Makes You Happy
This is more important than anything else when it comes to planning your next career move. Unfortunately, it is also a lot more challenging than it sounds. What really and truly makes you happy about your job? Do you like answering emails or is organising projects more up your street? In order to work out what makes you happy about your job you need to break down your working day or week into all of its individual components. Once you’ve done this, go through everything you do and rank each activity out of 5 for how much you enjoy it (5 being the best score). Now take a look at everything you gave a 4 or 5 – congratulations you have identified what makes you happy! The next step is to work out what career move you can make that will bring more of these activities into your work life and eliminate as many of the 1s and 2s as possible.
Know What You’re Good At
This is very closely linked to what makes you happy but there are some key differences. We all have things that we are good at but we might not actually realise that we are good at them. Doing a job that you are good at is essential for increasing your self-esteem and boosting your job satisfaction. This doesn’t mean that your job is easy – that would get boring fast – your job can be challenging but still play to your strengths. Of course, progressing in a career that caters to your fortes will allow you to build these skills further and put you in good stead to become an expert. So, work out what you are good at and what interests you and focus on developing this as much as possible.
Plan Ahead – But Not Too Far
Too many of us are focused on forever when we really should only be looking at the next 3-5 years of our life. Realistically, you have no idea what the future holds for you so planning your entire life out is of little value. What you should be doing is creating a 5-year plan with what you want to achieve and where you want to be and then executing it. When making this plan, focus on what is important to you to personally. If becoming an expert in something is absolutely essential to you then perhaps taking another qualification is a good idea. Or if you want to make lots of money then getting your head down and working for a promotion is a better idea. Once you’ve worked out what your end goal is, your next career move will seem a lot more obvious.