While it’s easy to find plenty of advice aimed at people looking for a job, making sure that you don’t start to stagnate in your professional development once you land the job you want is the key to having a successful career.
Whether you’ve landed a position within your dream field and want to expand your skills to work your way up in the company you’re currently at; you can use these three strategies to progress your career.
First, define what success looks like to you
Everyone has their own definition of what success is to them, and while the typical vision of a corner office and an executive role may be exactly what some people want, it doesn’t have to be the only path.
To understand where you want to be in your career, look at where you are in your career now and what’s important to you now, then consider what you want your career to look like in the future. What you want in the immediate moment might be different than what you’ll want in five or ten years, but if you think about where you’d ideally like to be, then that can help you define what your vision of success is.
When you have a vision of your future career that feels right, try to turn that vision into a plan of action. Create a chart that will help you track where you are now in your career, where you hope to be in five of ten years with the position and title, and a general overview of the steps you’d take to get there. This is the start of your career roadmap.
Second, Establish goals and timelines to reach them by
Defining the goals you want to hit to reach has a lot to do with making a realistic timeline. Without a timeline, it’s going to be a lot harder to achieve the goals you’ve set out for yourself. Setting goals gives you something to strive for, but setting a timeline keeps you accountable. Set these goals and timelines against your career roadmap to better flesh out the tasks ahead of you and define how you will accomplish your big goals.
To further break down those goals and to make sure you don’t feel overwhelmed by your own plan, take each large goal and deconstruct it into a series of smaller tasks. If this idea seems like too much of a chore to take on by yourself, a workplace readiness program for autistic adults can help you better navigate what your goals and timelines should be in a manageable way.
Finally, look for feedback
Engage with mentors or people who are currently working in the position or field you aspire to. This will help you to better understand the journey ahead of you. Also, take into account peer feedback.
Knowing your strengths – and your weaknesses – is essential when it comes to furthering your career. Your peers work more closely with you on a day-to-day basis and can give you plenty of constructive criticism, as well as enlighten you about some of your strengths you may have missed.