Do you feel as though you’ve hit a slump in your current career path? Are you lacking motivation and craving a new challenge? Successful career planning demands consistent re-evaluation of your goals, and your strategy to achieve them.
Here are four key considerations to bear in mind as you re-examine the direction of your career:
Step 1: Articulate why you feel a desire for change
Specifying why you want to redesign your career path will help you track your changeover plan from one career to the next, or from one position to another. Why do you crave variation? Have you become disillusioned with your current industry? Did you forego pursuing your passion for the promise of a stable job? Do you have a nagging feeling that your skills and attributes could be better used for something “more”?
Asking these types of questions will give you a clearer idea of why you need a new challenge and the specific ways in which you can go about starting afresh. Nikki Cockroft, the Head of Online at Woolworths, has this to say about when it’s time to move on to a new job – “If I’m not challenged and learning, it’s time to go.”
Step 2: Examine your current role
Take stock of the skills you’ve gained, and which of those you will not be able to take with you to another job or industry. Transferable skills, like good organisational and leadership abilities, are valued in any industry. However, being proficient in a software system unique to your current job, or being comfortable with only one management style might not be very useful if you are pursuing change.
If you have identified the position you want or the industry you are interested in, research the skills and expertise required to make the jump and list them in your advancement action plan along with the steps you can take to acquire them.
Step 3: Seek advice
Look within your networks. An informational interview is a good way to gain some insight into a new industry. Set up an informal meeting with someone you respect professionally to find out what your desired industry or position is really like. Assure them that you are not looking for a job, but are merely trying to improve your knowledge of their industry before taking a leap.
It is always good idea to network with people who have made a fresh start in their careers and achieved a high level of success. Realising that people change careers all the time might make the notion less scary than you first thought.
Step 4: Take strategic action
Once you know what you want to do, figure out ways to make the transition while holding on to your current position. Up-skilling is a surefire way to refresh your career path. Register for a part-time course, job-shadow somebody you admire, or seek out a part-time, freelance or volunteer position in your field of interest. Once you’ve gained insight into what it is you want from your career, the actionable steps you must take to get there will become clear.
Change is a daunting and necessary element of career development. If you’re starting to feel claustrophobic in your comfort zone, now might be the right time to take the leap and redesign the career you want for yourself.
If you are interested in redirecting your career then consider an online short course from the University of Cape Town and GetSmarter.
Visit www.getsmarter.co.za for more information on a portfolio of over 50 online short courses.
Article by GetSmarter