When you’re in the middle of your career, it can be hard to see all the opportunities that are before you. You might be too busy working hard on what needs to get done now and can’t imagine taking time to think about what comes next. But if you don’t have a plan for your future career trajectory, you risk getting stuck in one place or worse – not moving forward at all. You may even find yourself unhappy with where your career has taken you so far because you haven’t been able to stay focused on what really matters—your own professional growth and development.
After you’ve made the decision to move forward in your career, it’s important to determine how you’re going to get there. One of the most effective ways for someone who is at a plateau or in transition is to find opportunities for continuing education.
The modern workplace is constantly changing, and employers are looking for workers who can keep up with these changes and add value by utilizing new skillsets. If there are gaps in your resume, now is an ideal time to address them before they become bigger problems down the line.
In addition to updating your resume, it’s also important that you stay abreast of current events in your industry so that when employers ask about trends or what’s happening at present day companies, you have an answer ready (or research one ahead of time).
It’s essential to be able to articulate your career goals and the path you need to take in order to achieve them.
I have found that the best way to do this is by creating a plan. This can be formalized like an actual roadmap, or it can just be a mental image of what you want your career trajectory to look like over time. There are many different templates available online that make it easy for anyone with basic Excel skills (or even Google Sheets) to create something similar! I highly recommend doing this exercise because when we visualize our ideal careers, we are more likely go after those goals and stay focused on our long-term objectives instead of getting distracted by short-term rewards or opportunities that may not be aligned with our overall direction.
No matter where you are in your career, it’s important to actively work on building deeper relationships with your boss, colleagues and peers. These relationships can help you make the right decisions when it comes time to advance your career or find a new job.
A good relationship is based on mutual trust and respect. When you’re working toward these qualities, it may take time—and there will be bumps along the way—but they’ll pay off in the end.
You can’t expect others to notice how hard you’re working if all they see is your face buried in a computer screen for hours at a time (or even worse: staring at them from across the room). You need to be proactive about getting out from behind that computer or putting down those headphones so that people will see who you really are as an employee and coworker before their opinion of you becomes set in stone as “the person who never talks.”
>Be open to multiple options and opportunities:
- Consider all possible career paths when making a decision. Don’t feel pressured into following one path because it seems more likely or less risky than another.
- Be open to opportunities that don’t immediately seem appealing. You may not be a fan of the career path in front of you, but it could be worth exploring if it expands your network and gives you experience working with new people or within new industries.
- Ask for advice and feedback from others on whether an option is right for your goals and interests—you may have more options than you realize!
Being proactive is essential to managing your career trajectory and ensuring that you continue growing. If you are reactive, you leave it up to the world around you to tell you what’s expected of you and how things will go for you. You’ll be at the mercy of external factors, whatever they happen to be at a given moment in time.
You need not only a plan but also the confidence and ambition needed to make things happen on your terms—to become an agent of change instead of letting others dictate what happens next with your life.
Self-reflection is the key to success, but it’s also one of the most difficult things to do. A lot of people think they’re “self-aware,” but in reality, they don’t know themselves nearly as well as they think they do. To become more self-aware and make your goals more achievable, take some time every day (even if it’s just five minutes) to think about your progress toward reaching those goals as well as how you can improve yourself. Ask yourself questions like: What did I accomplish today? How could I have done that differently or better? And how does this relate back to my long term plans?
How often should this happen? As often as possible! If possible, try taking a few minutes each day (or even once per week) just thinking about what’s going on in your life right now—what’s working and what isn’t working so well.
When you have a clear plan for your career, it can have a big positive impact on your performance, your ability to keep moving forward and even on your happiness.
When you have a clear plan for your career, it can have a big positive impact on your performance, your ability to keep moving forward and even on your happiness in the workplace. Here are some of the ways this happens:
- You feel more confident about where you’re headed and what you need to do next. This confidence can help with everything from decisions about which projects or clients to take on (do they align with my career goals?) to how much effort to put into them (will this help me get ahead?).
- You’re more productive at work, because you know what kind of opportunities will be available at each stage of your journey—and which ones are worth pursuing now. You also know what kinds of skills will be useful when seeking new positions or trying out different roles within an organization—so it’s easier for you to stay focused on those areas instead of getting distracted by something else that might seem like fun but isn’t actually relevant right now.
We hope this article has helped you to better understand how to manage your career trajectory. By focusing on these areas, you can ensure that your career stays on track and moving in the right direction.