Having your own personal career plan is vital before you decide to make any job change. However, most people don’t plan their career in any great depth but they would like. They would, however, like to be earning a higher salary. For example, if somebody asked you what kind of salary you would like to be earning, you would probably have a very clear idea of what that ideal figure would be. But if the same person asked you what job you need to secure to achieve that salary, you might be less certain that you could secure that job or feel confident about performing within that role.
“Remember that the onus is on you to create your career vision and career development plan and to market and sell yourself into your next job. A career is not what you find but what you create,” says Sarah Berry.
Personal Career planning is about continuous building rather than isolated jobs and instances. It is about increasing your knowledge and building up a portfolio of skills and experiences which are the kinds of asset that companies need and value. Too often people forget the building bit and get carried away by their emotions and by what seems a good idea at the time. For example, people start their career on a certain track and are quite happy for a while. But then they may decide it is time to move on, they may be pushed out involuntarily by the company or they may want to do something better or earn more. This is when mistakes are often made: people dive into jobs without assessing the impact this could have on their career.
So the key is to have a profession. A profession is what you do for a living, what you have spent time training to do or what you want to be doing. It is the crux of the career, giving it meaning, purpose and direction. Without it, a career will come unstuck, reach a halt or start to drift off on a tangent. It is then hard to sell a track record of this sort to an employer.
To develop within your profession you need to associate with it, hold the same values as it, and be committed to learn. Within any profession there are many fields or specialities of work which enable a person to build up his or her experience. How many fields are there within your profession? Fields are the bits that make you different from the competition. Fields are also the way to change career direction. For example, it is usually impossible to change from one profession to another without a considerable loss in earnings or position. The easiest way to change professions is to change fields and bridge the gap between the two professions without any loss of earnings.
“Try to build up a broad base of experience by changing fields regularly. Use fields to become an all-rounder within your profession and only then become a specialist. If you miss out on certain phases, recognise that you may need to work hard to fill in the gaps; but given a bit of effort, it is possible,” suggests Sarah in her e-book ‘How to Plan your Career‘.
Vision is key to gaining that next job, because if you know where you want your career to go, it is far easier to achieve it. A vision looks beyond the next job and further down your career path. The reason for this is that a career is vulnerable; anyone can have a few highlights or could face disappointments. The key is how you manage these situations. If you are in any doubt about your vision, consider filling in a professional career personality profile. For career planning advice, Sarah recommends a Career Choice Report for just £30.00.
“It is a very worthwhile investment as you can use it to gain an insight into your positive characteristics and establish what your career needs are. All profiles are positive and they often give people the confidence to project themselves and their career forward,” says Sarah.
Does your CV do all this? If not, then make the investment now to sell yourself professionally on paper and discover how a new look CV will advance your career further.
Watch, talk to and draw upon other people’s professional knowledge, reputation and skills when planning your career. These people will be experts in their field and will be higher up on the career ladder so their position, experience and expertise can help you to further your career. So how do you use these people?
People who have fulfilling careers have made it that way. They have invested in themselves and they have used this investment to fulfil their dreams and expectations. In short, they have made their own luck.
Focus your energy on building skills, learning from the people around you and creating a vision for the future. Become a real expert at your job and remember to sell yourself. Whatever you want, go and get it. If you want further career planning advice from Sarah Berry to discover how you can advance your career to new heights contact us by completing the form on this page.
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