Mapping Out Your Career Path
Do you want to make a career change? Are you even sure what career you want? Figuring out the often-daunting task of mapping out your career path can begin with a few fundamental steps.
1. Assess Your Skills and Interests
Take a few moments to think about what interests you, what you’re passionate about, and the skills you’ve developed over your lifetime. Writing down your strongest attributes and elements you find enjoyable can help you get started on developing a career path.
2. Explore Profession Ads
Start to explore job postings and job descriptions that sound interesting. Talk to people in the field or people who have switched careers to research what type of training, education, or certifications you might need to pursue a career in that field.
3. Reap the Benefits of Additional Education/Certification/Training
If you need additional education, a certification, or special training, there are many options available. Take advantage of your local college to research courses, night classes, and training programs. Also, research any grants or fellowships that may exist in field.
4. Develop a Plan and Reflect
Take some time to think through the steps you need to take to pursue the career you’ve chosen. Make a budget and time plan to give yourself goals to complete throughout the process. Additionally, remember to take breaks and reflect upon your progress periodically.
5. Make Connections and Network
Create an online portfolio to share your work. Join professional associations related to your field and participate in job fairs, networking lunches, and other career events to create connections. Ask questions and receive advice from professionals in the field.
6. Develop a Career Strategy
Consider consulting a career or life coach to provide you with helpful advice, support, and resources for your career search. Develop a list of core competencies and accomplishments, evaluate your potential to gain a new job. Lastly, be flexible in your approach to the job search – nothing is written in stone.
7. Location and Salary Negotiation
When job offers come in, you’ll need to evaluate the salary, geographical location, and work-related travel. Decide if it’s the right move for you. Many job offers also come with a salary negotiation so make sure to be prepared to advocate on your behalf.
Mapping out your career path can seem intimidating, but the journey doesn’t have to be daunting. If you start by following the steps outlined above, you can navigate the process with greater ease and create a career path that allows you to achieve your professional goals.