Ok, how many of you knew what you wanted to be when you "grew-up" after graduating high school? What about after college? Come on - you got a great degree in something you loved, right?
Many of us went to school for a degree that either doesn't quite exist anymore (traditional journalism) or technology has taken control and what we learned in school isn't useful anymore. Or here's one....the degree you got in college isn't even close to where you are today, or maybe not even where you want to go!
That's ok! As the world has evolved, so have careers which is why the goal is to help professionals around the world maintain the spark and passion they have for their jobs.
You've got it in you...now we need to get on the front foot of future-proofing your career with these tips:
1. Write down what you like to do currently in your job, what you want to do more of, and what success is for you
That's simple. Easy-peasy. Well, I dare you to try it. Get out your journal and write, write, write. And I encourage you to stay away from "I want more money". That's the easy way out. Really dive in. Set quiet time aside for this because it's the foundation for truly advancing your career.
How do you know where to go if you don't know what you want and like?
For example, all you moms can relate. When you become a mom, you are so focused on the kids and ensuring they have their needs (and wants) met that you almost forget what you like and want in life. Right?
The same happens when we let our career drive us and we become complacent. Don't do that. Tell your career what you want and like!
2. Write down what skills you need to improve upon
Don't go crazy on this list. I suggest focusing on 3-5 skills because otherwise, you won't see the light at the end of the tunnel, overwhelm yourself and not take much action. And that's not the point!
I also suggest that you focus on skills that will bring you joy. It's no fun HAVING to learn a skill that you don't like just because you think you need it or someone else says you need it.
3. Consider where your job market is heading
Once you evaluate where your industry's job market is heading, ask yourself "do the skills I listed align with where the market is heading?". If not, we have to go back and start over. If they do, great! You're on the right track!
It's useless and a waste of time if you start learning a new skill, get a certificate or new degree if the market is saying, "nope". Just because Betty or Bobby has that skill or degree or certificate doesn't mean you need to get it.
Now that you’ve got the foundation questions covered, you’re ready to dive deeper into designing your career roadmap. Research shows that people who actively drive their careers achieve greater success and fulfillment. So, let’s reflect on what you can do today, next week, next month and for the rest of the year.
I want you to answer these 3 questions for each day, each week, and each month to start and you'll see why:
START DOING: What are you not doing that can help you advance your career?
For example, attend 4 networking events this month and send follow-up emails and LinkedIn requests after meeting new people.
KEEP DOING: What are you absolutely doing well? Example, weekly coffee dates with vendors, listening to industry-related podcasts.
STOP DOING: What activities are holding you back and taking up too much time without providing significant value? Maybe you're avoiding speaking up in meetings, or attending unnecessary meetings, or working after 6pm.
When you know what you should be doing, it's easy to future-proof your career. You just need to take the time to be true to yourself each day, week, month and year. And having clarity on what your roadmap is, will shine through when talking to recruiters and hiring managers.
You got this!