Career Roadmapping: How to Plan Your Career Future

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Love Your Job & Do What You Want to Do

“Ancient Wisdom Says: “…that the plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty,comes only to poverty…”, Prov. 21:5

If you love your job, you never work a day in your life. Donald Trump says, “you should love what you do.” It is the advice that he gives when asked about choosing a career. Unfortunately, rather than working in careers that they are passionate about, many people labor in boring jobs that merely pay the bills. Remember, to have a career in your 30s, you must be working toward your chosen field in your 20s.

If you find yourself hating your job, dreading going to work or counting down the days to your next vacation, then there is a good chance you will spend the bulk of your working life unhappy. If, on the other hand, you are working with people you like in an industry or position that you enjoy, then you may wake up inspired and eager to go to work every day.

The key question, of course, is how to fast track and find a career that you love. Simply picking something you are passionate about is not enough to help you find the career of your dreams. In this article by Debra Donston-Miller, she says that your job hunt will vary depending on your age.

For example:

  • A 20-something will be trying to get their foot in the door of their professional industry.
  • A 20-something is trying to  shape their career into what they want it to be.
  • A 40-something may want to have an impact and leave behind a legacy.
  • A 50-something often seeks meaning in their career. At this age you are most likely an overqualified job candidate.

To find the job you love, you need to create a focused and targeted action plan or career road map that will help your ideal job become a reality. In this article about choosing a fulfilling career they point out that regardless of your reasons, the right career is out there for everyone. To find the career of your dreams, you need to create an action plan, or a road map, to get there.

Below are six steps that can help you determine your ideal career path:

1. Perform a Self-Assessment

Assess yourself, your strengths, weaknesses and passions. Discover your possibilities and then explore the following web sites:

Remember to flaunt your professional image and personal branding. It is okay to broadcast your value to a company. Proper etiquette in social media is important if you want a career. Also consider your values and how important each of those values are to you. For example, do you value making a lot of money over feeling as though your job is making a worthwhile contribution to the planet? You need to know what you want out of your career before you create a plan to achieve it.

 2. Make a Career List

Create a list of potential careers that cater to and focus on your strengths, as well as help you fulfill your values. Your list of potential careers should include, not only jobs that interest you, but also jobs that you would excel in based on your strengths. As you compile your list, try this assessment. Don’t forget to think too about whether a job reflects your values. If making a worthwhile contribution to society is the most important value that you listed, then a non-for-profit might be a better fit than a large corporation. A focused career may be better than an all-purpose job.

 3. Research Potential Careers

Research the requirements and market opportunities associated with each career on your list. Start by searching job websites, like Indeed. When choosing a career, you need to determine if a sufficient number of jobs are available in that field and if you are qualified to pursue opportunities in that industry. A good way to research a particular industry is to make connections via LinkedIn. For more information watch this video about how to get a job using LinkedIn.

Also, do some networking. Talk to people who currently work in the job(s) you are considering in order to ensure that you have a realistic picture of what the position entails.

4. Choose a Career Field

Narrow down your career list and select the career you wish to pursue. You should choose a career only after carefully considering all of the options and finding one that offers plenty of job opportunities that best match your strengths and fulfill your values. Marc Cenedella says you must assess a company’s “cultural fit… (as it can be) the difference between success and failure on the job.”

5. Create a Goal List

Ancient Wisdom says, “when there is no vision, people perish” Prov. 29. Make a list of short and long-term goals that will help you land the job you desire. Short-term goals are generally those goals that you can accomplish within one year. Long-term goals (such as additional education) will take longer to achieve. The goals that you set for yourself should be specific, concrete steps toward getting your foot in the door of your chosen career.

For example, your goal might include completing an academic program in your industry or finding an internship in your chosen field. You should also create deadlines for yourself so you can keep moving forward toward your career goals. Having a long term vision in place is key. For more good networking ideas, read about how to master online career networking.  

6. Accomplish Your Goals

Work toward accomplishing your goals, looking for opportunities to find the job you identified as right for you. Job search apps like: Mokriya, Craigslist, CareerBuilder, Reader-Freely and E-lance for freelancing, focus on your short and long-term goals, completing each one, and keeping your eyes open for the opportunities that arise as a result of pursuing your dreams. Peggy McKees has some good tips about not applying for jobs online

Some steps to take are:

  • Qualify Job Leads
  • Research
  • Pre-match Yourself
  • Apply to Companies You Know

Following these steps will help you create a career road map and hopefully allow you to break into your chosen industry and find the perfect job or business start-up for you.

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