Do you ever find yourself up late at night with just you and your stream of consciousness asking all the deep and meaningful questions in your life? Laying awake, asking yourself the big questions like, “Should I get highlights” “What house would I be sorted in at Hogwarts”, “Should I change my walk?….. We’re kidding. But if you have the worries of “Am I stuck in a rut at work, “Should I learn a new skill or look for creative courses to better myself?” and “is my career plateauing?” You are not alone.
Progression in your career can mean many different meanings to many different people. What’s important is to recognise and define what success means to you. If you feel unhappy with where you are at with your career or just feel you’re not moving forwards, you need to look at what will make you happy and find your happy. You may want to progress into a managerial role with a higher salary or wish to go into a position where you can spend more time at home with your family.
What’s important is that you recognise that everyone’s idea of success is different. Once you know what that success looks like to you, you can plan the actions to help you achieve it.
Set your goals on a timeline for Career
If you have your goals already, lay them down on a timeline, this can range from 5 years to 10 years or six months to a year. It’s best to start with your end career goal and then work backwards to where you are today.
At each step, you will need to analyse what steps and actions you need to take to progress to your end goal. Ask yourself questions like what skills or qualifications, if any, do I need to have, what people do I need to speak to. From this, you can set a time frame on how long each of these steps will take so you and be able to hold yourself accountable for your progress.
Share your goals with the people who can help.
Your manager is not a mind reader, be open and honest with them about your careers goals and training opportunities that you may be interested in to further your career. If there is an element of your job that you particularly like or are interested in letting them know, they can put you forward for these opportunities.
Don’t be afraid to share; if your line manager doesn’t listen or put plans or help support you in taking the right steps of your career or what’s best for your situation and what you want to achieve, then you have saved yourself a lot of time. Don’t see this as a step back but keep working and now also focus on exploring other opportunities with a different company that will support you.
Ask for Feedback
Asking for feedback may be challenging and daunting, but it is necessary for your personal growth. If there are areas in your role that need to be improved, at least know you know! Don’t see it as a negative discussion; see it as targets to set yourself to get to where you want to be.
If someone gives you vague feedback, make sure you are equipped with some quality questions to make it more specific. If you become good at providing feedback, you will also help those around you to grow.
If you see someone doing what you want to be doing, reach out to them. Look at the steps they took to get to where they are today and look to apply the steps they took and see if this would benefit you. The more information you can gather, the clearer your plan is and what you need to do at your next step. The phrase “ if they can do it, why can’t I?” have never been more true!