October 20, 2021

The Art of Designing Your Career Future

Have you met your ultimate career goals yet? Are you currently on a path to career advancement? If you’re unable to answer a resounding YES to these questions, now may be the time to take charge and build the career you want.

People tend to be happier and more engaged at the workplace when they know what their career goals are and are taking steps to meet these goals. Unfortunately, the chances of accidentally stumbling into your ultimate career choice are slim. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t reach your goals. Rather than taking your chances on luck, you can take an active role in shaping the exact career you want.

This step is referred to as the art of designing your career future. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Designing the Career You Want

The first step to obtaining your career goals is to understand your unique interests, skills, and attributes and to determine what career opportunities are best suited for you. Here are three practical action steps you can take right now so you can start designing the career you want.

Take Time for Self-Reflection

When was the last time you really took some time for self-reflection regarding your career? It’s vital to schedule time, no matter how busy your schedule is, to self-evaluate your current career path and how it aligns with your ultimate career goals.

Ask yourself basic questions like:

  • What are your hopes for your career?
  • What obstacles are preventing your career advancement?
  • Is the path you’re on right now helping you further your career goals?

Know When It’s Time to Redesign Your Career

If your current career path is not in alignment with your ultimate career goals or there are obstacles hindering your career growth, it may be time to make a change. While change can be difficult, it’s also a sign of growth. In fact, sometimes, the only way to move forward is through change.

There are four primary methods to use when redesigning your career, including:

  • Reframe: This process requires you to reevaluate your current job position through different lenses and to identify what motivates you in the workplace.
  • Remodel: Remodeling doesn’t involve changing jobs but rather reevaluating your specific job duties. For example, you may be able to take on a new task or rearrange some of your duties to better utilize your specific skillset and strengths.
  • Relocated: This step often involves a lateral shift in job roles. For example, you may switch to a new department that better aligns with your future goals.
  • Reinvent: To reinvent your career path, design requires a complete career change. This step may require additional training and skillsets.

Maintain a Continuous Learning Mindset

One of the best ways to learn on the job is through failures. While no one likes to fail, it’s crucial to use these failures to your advantage by gaining wisdom through them. No matter how disappointed you are, always take time to reflect on what you learned through the experience.

Traveling Along Your Career Path

Determining your ultimate career goals is just the first step. You must stay focused on your end goals while traveling along your career path. Here are some tips to help you along the way:

Develop a Structured Process

Building the ideal career takes both time and strategic planning. Think of yourself as your own career architect. It’s essential to set goals as well as performance tasks. Additionally, be sure to set time aside, not just for self-reflection but also for meeting with your manager to discuss your future aspirations.  

Build Alignment for Career Growth

Self-reflection is a core component of designing your career, but you can’t build a successful career in a vacuum. Instead, you must enlist the support of others as you travel along your career path. Be sure to make your manager a core part of the development process by scheduling regular check-ins to discuss ways you can improve workplace performance and steps you need to take for advancement.

Solicit Regular Feedback

Feedback, especially negative, is not always easy to hear, but it’s also one of the most powerful career advancement tools available. Workplace feedback gives you a glimpse of how others view your on-the-job performance. Never be afraid to ask for feedback from your colleagues as well as managers. If you’re able to use active listening skills and view this feedback through an objective lens, it can challenge you to grow in your career.

Learn more by watching our webinar The Art of Designing Your Career Future, presented by Bravely Pro Natalie Garramone.

You may need to log into your Bravely account to access the recording at this link.

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