The road to success starts with having a clear goal of what success looks like. So if you're looking to build your career to reach soaring heights, you must know how to create a career map that can lead you to where you want to be in terms of your profession.
Benefits of Career Mapping
Having a well-thought-out career map boosts your chances of achieving your goal. This is because a map allows you to chart your progress, which can increase your motivation as you complete each of your short-term and long-term goals.
Moreover, a career map can also give you a chance to refine and build your strategy so you're not going into things blindly. It can be one of your most important tools in ensuring your personal and professional success.
To begin creating your career roadmap, you have to gain a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Visualize what a successful "you" looks like. Where is she now and what is she doing?
A good way to solidify your vision is by making a vision statement. A vision statement is a compilation of your ideas of what you think a successful career is. Then, make sure that this vision statement is visible to you at all times. You can make it into a digital wallpaper or an inspirational note in your planner.
However, don't worry if you find that your vision isn't as concrete as you like. Your goals can change, and you're encouraged to review your goals from time to time. We don't always know what we want and it's not unusual to have many goals that may conflict with each other.
The Long and Short of It
To further manage your goals, break them down into several short-term goals that lead to a larger, long-term goal. You would expect a short-term goal to be achievable from around three months to three years while a long-term goal could take more than three years.
You can create the beginnings of your career roadmap by organizing your short-term goals to support one long-term goal. This is so you can see whether your activities are contributing to which overall goal and avoid getting interrupted by unrelated ones.
Also, make sure that these goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Whether a short- or long-term goal, making them SMART can ground your expectations for each so you won't end up feeling frustrated if your goals are not accomplished immediately.
Steps to Creating Your Very Own Career Map
Now that you have your SMART goals and a vision of your endgame, you can start designing your strategy and building a career map.
1. Know Your Starting Point
Now that you know where you're going, you need to know where you stand first. Conduct a self-assessment of your strengths and weaknesses, as well as your likes and dislikes. This candid approach gives you an idea of how much ground you need to cover. You may feel uncomfortable putting yourself under the microscope, but it's all so you know which steps to take next.
2. Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Directions
Your career roadmap doesn't have to be a one-woman endeavor. Pull your most trusted superiors or mentors to help you. They may have some valuable insights and ideas for where you can go and what you can do for your goals. Think training programs or hidden work opportunities for you to try.
3. Celebrate Milestones
In line with the concept of making short- and long-term goals, your roadmap should be broken down into several milestones, too. Once you reach one, give yourself a pat on the back and savor your achievement. This is important so you can assess whether you're going in the right direction. Celebrating your small wins can also get you more pumped up for the next milestone.
4. Keep Going
Don't worry in case you're stopped by a road block. No career map is perfect, especially from the get-go. Setbacks allow you to review your goals and modify them as needed. No dream worth pursuing comes easy, so this can teach you the value of discipline and strategic retreat.
Now you've got your career map all set! And keep in mind that this may be just one of the first few drafts so be open and flexible to any changes you'll encounter.
Your roadmap does more than just point you from A to B. It serves as your reminder of the destination you want to reach. Stay focused and don't forget to enjoy the journeys along the way.
Half the Sky's mission is to supply the tools that can give every woman the ability to build a successful career and be fully prepared for the future of work. So, that they can lead a healthy, prosperous and more balanced/blended lifestyle of their choosing. By building your confidence, you’re setting foundations to empower yourself and your career. The world is your oyster, and it starts with you.
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