We all want to create a better future career, right? In my experience with clients, I’ve yet to meet someone who would like their career to go backwards – make less money, less growth opportunity, etc. If you agree then are you taking the right steps to move your career forward? Many of my clients aren’t sure what those steps are. Your exact steps will be unique, however, here are five steps you should take today that will put you on a path to a better future career.
1) List your priorities
This type of exercise is not about listing what you *should* have on your list like security, family, health, etc. Those are great, of course, but the idea here is to create a space where there are no rules. So, if your priority right now is creativity or seeing how many hours you can waste reading books, please include them on your list! Believe it or not, that is part of aligning a future career!
2) Update your resume
I know. I said it. No matter where you are at right now – happy in your position, actively looking, or haven’t seen your resume in over 10 years – it’s time for an update. Actually, look at your resume as a live document. It’s also a big confidence booster to remember all of the great things you’ve accomplished!
3) Answer this question
Where do you want to be in five years? Do you know off-hand? Have you ever really answered that question? The step here is to consider it. What would you like to be doing in five years? Write it down. Again, there are no rules for this answer – it doesn’t have to be related to your current job.
4) Tell someone what you wrote
If you are uncomfortable telling a close friend or family member, make an appointment with a career coach. For many people that have called, it turned out to be the best step to make those dreams a reality! Plus, a coach can quickly help identify your unique next steps. It is important to tell someone else. Doing so taps into a deep-rooted human characteristic that compels you to accomplish any future-looking public statement that you make. When you keep your future plans to yourself, it’s much easier to forget about them.
5) Let go
This step usually surprises people. It’s also a hard step to take. Letting go of your future is sometimes the best way to receive what you want. Yes, it sounds paradoxical. And it is. We get so wrapped up in what we ought to be doing or what sounds good. We can spin our wheels trying to force a job or a connection to be what we want it to be; however, what I am suggesting in this step is to let go of all our anxiety about making something happen and trust the spontaneous nature of our dreams being able to find us. Our job is to prepare, do the introspective work, and take action. It’s not our job to control the future, so practice letting go and seeing what happens too.
Now that you’ve take these 5 steps, step back and look at what you’ve done. You have broken the mental paradigms that your current job instilled inside you. Then you determined what your true priorities are and what you’d really like to do someday in the future. Plus, now that you’ve told others and updated your resume there is nothing stopping you from taking the next 5 steps! Well done.