Creating Your Career by Design – Following your career path

Creating Your Career by Design – Following your career path
July 29, 2021 Linda Murray

If you’ve been following along with my recent posts on career design and actioning the ideas as you go, you should by now have defined your career values. You will also have assessed where you are now in the path to creating your career by design. If you are still unsure, I suggest enrolling in Career Clarity Online Coaching to help you get crystal clear on your way forward.

In this post, we will be working out the pathway to your goal and the key steps you need to take to get there.

It is important to remember that a goal without a path is simply an idea. When you lay out the path and the guideposts along the way, you give yourself the necessary tools to help you to stay on track to achieving your goal.

Talking about a pathway is easy but mapping can be more challenging. Today I want to share three steps I use to help my clients come to grips with the concept.

Identify options for gaining the skills and experience you need.

Don’t make the assumption that gaining a new qualification is the only way to advance your career or achieve career goals. Most people will tell you that they learn better “on the job” than in a classroom so it, therefore, makes sense to adopt a blended learning approach to acquiring skills needed to achieve your goals.  

Research has shown the best way for adults to learn is by adopting a blended learning approach.

  • 10% comes from education (study, workshops, courses etc);
  • 20% comes from exposure to additional insights (networking, mentoring, shadowing), and
  • 70% comes from experiential learning (on the job opportunities, projects, secondments).

Look at the options available to you if you think outside the box. Qualifications aren’t the only answer. Look for ways you can gain additional skills through in-house training and mentoring, cross-training, or taking on new projects.

Develop a timeline to keep you on target.

A timeline is crucial to your success. Without it, you are leaving it all up to yourself to “find time” to undertake the necessary steps.  While that sounds great in theory, putting it into practice is very different when you are juggling your existing role, your personal life and your training and development. Discipline is important but by having a program to follow, you increase the probability of success. 

Keep yourself accountable – this is a great way to do it. Accountability is essential to achieving your goals. Consider the familiar scenario of gym membership vs a personal trainer. Without question, the fitness regime is far more achievable when overseen by a personal trainer. That’s because there’s an accountability factor there.  

It is also important to create a goals calendar setting out the days and times you need to attend training, meet deadlines, or seek mentoring. Whatever the steps are, ensure they are written down and achievable. Sounds simple? The most effective things often do.

Include times for self-assessment so you can monitor your progress.

Diarise time each month for a “meeting for one” to check in on your progress towards your goals. Having an accountability partner or coach is fantastic, but there comes a point where you also need to master the art of self-assessment. For example, I set aside an hour on the first Monday of each month to reflect on the month that has ended (my progress towards my goals, what I have learned, what I need to change, am I looking after myself, etc), then I set my intentions for the month ahead. 

Approach this “meeting for one” as you would with someone you were mentoring. You deserve the same focus and consideration. Reflect objectively and plan purposefully to achieve your mini-goals through the next week/month. Be realistic about any changes you need in your timeline to ensure you meet your deadlines. 

As you’ve read over the last posts, there’s a clear process for every step of the way when you are planning a career by design. I need to tell you that the steps aren’t difficult. What lets most people down is their lack of accountability to themselves. Often, they put other people’s needs ahead of their own and use the time they’ve allocated to career planning for some other purpose. A career coach will keep you on track.

In fact, the Institute of Coaching reports 80% of people working with a coach report increased self-confidence and 70% report improved work performance, relationships, and communication.

If you’d like results like those but you’re not yet ready to commit to working with a coach, enrol in my Career Coaching Online Program. This will help you work through the process of planning and designing your career and keep you on track as you do so. You also have the option of working with me for a one-on-one session.

Here’s to your brilliant career!

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