Published by: http://www.MyCareerBrand.net
Career milestones hold you to account and act as markers to keep you on track. So you need to set them early, be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances and ensure they are measurable.
Here are 6 considerations to get you started on setting your career milestones.
Before planning your career progression (even your next role) you need to gain clarity about what it is you want to achieve in your career? Not just the next job. Your next job is simply one of the many milestones you’ll achieve to reach your over-all goal.
2. Have a purpose
Crystallise your purpose. What is it you stand for? What’s the problem you want to solve? What are your priorities? Think about the balance of your personal and professional life, talking with those around you who you want to remain in your life – defining what’s important.
3. Be brave
You may wish to extend your vision and goal out to ‘x’ years hence – say year (1 + 15 years) – it really depends on where you are in your career cycle. Some will say I don’t know what I’m doing next year let alone in 15 years! Yes – there will be variances along the way, but be brave and visualise what your life will look like, and the career milestones that will be an integral ingredients towards getting there.
Often we cant see the wood for the trees, so if that’s you ask for help.
Once you have the vision locked in – ‘back-cast’ from year (1 + X), back to today.
It’s about a step at a time. Being brave doesn’t mean you stop being realistic or measured in your activities. Set yourself up for success with SMART goals. What are the milestones between then (15 years) and now? What do you need to do as a prerequisite to each role (milestone) to ensure you are successful?
Each role should be seen as the one that develops the necessary skills and experience required to launch you towards your overall goal. As you develop your leading milestones you can develop subordinates/content for each. There may be intermediate milestones such as building on your education (MBA etc). Do keep in mind that as time progresses, so will the shape and direction for each role – business requirements change, and we need to change with it or change the business we’re in. Your personal circumstances may also change along the way, so it’s important to re-visit and revise for relevancy.
5. Inbound strategy
We often hear of people being ‘headhunted’. It’s when people are contacted and hired proactively by a recruitment consultant or hiring manager for a specific role because they’re known for delivering great outcomes in a particular area.
As you progress your career you should be developing channels that actively promote you and the outcomes and benefits you deliver. Part of this will be a network of sponsors who will ensure you’re being headhunted for a role that matters. Self promotion doesn’t sit easily with most of us, so move it towards adding value to others. The beneficiaries of your work will proactively promote you. This becomes part of your ‘inbound’ strategy. Other parts may be writing blogs, guest speaking and volunteering. Put simply – it’s not about you applying for roles first – it’s about you being contacted first through communication – how you market yourself and the collateral and channels to do this successfully. Being found for what you want to be found for.
6. Document your success
As you progress with each role remember to write down your key achievements. They should be outcomes focused, succinctly stating what you’ve delivered as a result of your direct input. Look back and see how far you’ve come – the challenges you overcame and the transferable skills and outcomes you can deliver to each prospective hiring manager.
You may wish to share your key learnings through writing a blog that adds value to others. It’s a great way to build a reputation beyond that of your existing colleagues.
Read ‘The Top 6 Actions That Promote Career Success‘ for some key anchors.
When are you going to start ‘planning to do’ and ‘doing to plan’, rather than stumbling?
Follow Craig McAlpine and MyCareerBrand.net:
Craig works with his clients to build a tailored Career Brand, LinkedIn Profile, Curriculum Vitae (CV). He also works with corporates and individuals who require assistance during Outplacement/Career Transition. His focus is squarely on developing his clients’ marketing collateral and interview skills to position and achieve the best possible outcome. Craig’s clients span from New Zealand, Australia, UAE and across to the UK, and his career advice articles are read by many thousands of career mined individuals across more than 135 countries.
He is recognised for his ability to develop his clients’ communication skills to enable them to sell their value proposition to employers and recruitment consultants better than their competition, increasing their confidence, and ultimately winning more employment opportunities.
Craig draws on over 20 years of leadership experience within various sectors including Recruitment, Professional Services, Financial Services, and Technology, supported by a strong background in sales and marketing.