Some people might find themselves stuck in their careers, unsure of how to move forward. If you remain in such a situation for long, especially if you are a middle-aged person, you might end up not achieving much in your career. Even your juniors might fly past, achieving everything that you ever wanted. As such, it is highly important that you get out of the deadlock and have a clear roadmap of what your career path should be.
The number one thing you should immediately do is to set a clear-cut goal. To aid you in goal setting, you can use the SMART goal method. SMART is basically an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
When you decide on your goals, they should clearly encompass all the SMART attributes. For instance, let’s look at the “Timely” attribute. You might be a 50-year-old office worker at a branch of a major national corporation on your way to retire by the age of 65. To decide that you would become the president of the company in 10 years would not be deemed realistic. Instead, it is more realistic if you aim to become the regional manager of the office provided you are well qualified for the post.
“In order to be successful, you need to write them [goals] down and share them with a friend or a coworker. Seventy-six percent of study participants who set SMART goals wrote them down and shared them with a friend achieved their goals. Sharing your goals creates a sense of accountability, and writing down your goals cements them in your long-term memory, so they’re always accessible and locked in to your subconscious,” according to Forbes.
You might be stuck in your present role because you haven’t invested in yourself to acquire new skills. Once you decide where you want to be in 5 years, think of the qualities a person would need for that post and check what qualities you lack. Acquire necessary skills within a decent time frame and you will be ready for the role. For instance, suppose you wish to be the GM of your firm in 5 years since the current GM will retire by that time. If you are someone who does not have any negotiation skills, the company will not be likely to consider you for the post. However, if you devote the next 4 or so years to developing your negotiation skills, the company will notice you.
Networking is an important aspect of moving forward in your career. If you do not have influential contacts, you are not likely to get into influential posts yourself. If you watch all the successful people in the world, you will notice that they spend quite a lot of time networking through official meetings, parties, group activities, and so on.
“Build relationships with leaders within and outside of your organization, attend job-related conferences, and explore other events. The better your network, the more opportunities you have to learn from others who’ve enjoyed success. To find out more about other possible career options, you can conduct some informational meetings with colleagues or managers,” according to Live Career. Even a semi-talented person has the chance to move up significantly in his career path if he is blessed with excellent networking skills.