“Your past cannot be changed, but you can change tomorrow by your actions today.”
– David McNally
The career you want doesn’t drop in your lap prefabricated the way it used to be. To have the career you want, you have to design and initiate your own path. In the past, on-the-job training was a popular means of creating the perfect employee. Businesses had the time and resources to teach workers what they needed to know, in order to develop a career with their company. Today, as companies are downsizing and restructuring to remain competitive, career-minded individuals must be that much better than others vying for the same position; and, they must be prepared to hit the ground running. You have to go after the job you want.
While career guidance is beneficial, the ultimate decisions are up to you. A career is more than simply a job. It’s not flipping burgers at the local fast food restaurant, until something better comes along. A career is a lifelong pursuit of professional success. It helps define who you are, and where your values lie. It gives your life purpose and meaning. It also happens to provide a paycheck.
If you really want a career, and not just a job, here are some suggestions to help facilitate your success:
* Know your personal and professional goals
* Keep a portfolio of your best work
* Keep track of your successes
* Commit to lifelong learning
* Invest time and money in developing your career
* Establish an advisory board
* Find a mentor
You can’t sit back and wait for your career to tack off. If you want to be a leader in your chosen occupation, you need to make your success happen.
An expert in career guidance will provide suggestions based upon experience. He/she may even develop a personalized list of objectives you need, to put your career on the fast track. But, it’s you that will do the hard work and provide the initiative necessary for a successful outcome.
For example, only you know your personal and professional goals. You must recognize your own potential, adapt to changes when necessary, and do what it takes to continually build your career. Today, a college degree is simply not enough. Everyone has to have an education, in order to get a meaningful job. You need to recognize the education necessary to get your foot in the proverbial door. Then, you need to go above and beyond the competition. You will always have to consider how best to invest your time and money, in order to advance your career.
You will also need to keep track of the advancements and changes in your career field. Networking can keep you in the “know” and make sure that others know about you. Developing an advisory board can boost your credibility and convey that you are dedicated to advancing in your career, even if it means accepting change or going back to school. You are your own best tool for success.
In short, career management is not a job you can outsource. You need to manage yourself for the career you want.