I wrote an article back in September 2016 on having an “accidental career.” You can read the post here. I know that was a true statement for me and it happens for a lot of people. You are so busy going through the day to day motions of your job, that you don’t realize it. This is especially true in corporate roles where your management sees potential in you and moves you to another role that needs your help. Sure, you can take that job and probably learn some new things that may or may not help you get to the next level. You can rationalize these moves as being good decisions for you. All of a sudden it is 20 years later, and you realize that you didn’t have as much say in your career as you thought.
Take the time to reflect and ensure that you are planning your career. Start today and spend time thinking about where do you really want your career to go? Don’t put limitations on it. It is really easy to talk ourselves out of things and say we don’t have the “right” experience or they would never consider me for that role. If you really want it, then don’t let anyone talk you out of it. Look at what it would take to get a role like that and start putting a plan in place today.
Here are some easy ideas to get you started:
- Ask people if they know anyone who has this type of role. Look at LinkedIn and find people who already have this role today.
- You can send them a LinkedIn request or an email to connect and say “Our mutual friend Bob thought that you may be able to help me with some research I am doing on my next role. Would you have 15 minutes to connect this week by phone?”
- People love to talk about their jobs and what they do. They will be flattered that you asked them and will find a way to work you into their schedule.
- Send them the questions in advance so they are ready to answer them. They may want to send you answers first in email and then discuss over the phone.
- Ask them questions about “what their day is like, what experience helped them the most, what do they wish that they had coming into that role, what does success look like for a person in that role, what skills have helped them the most and who else do they know that you could talk to about that type of role.”
- As you are talking to them, ask yourself “if this is role that you really want? Do you find that you are excited when you hear them describing it? Does it sound like something you would be good at?”
There are so many benefits to this approach. You now have more information about what you need to do next and it took you a relatively short time to do it. You can add it to your plan and start moving forward. You have broadened your network with people that now know you are interested in getting a role like they have and can connect you with other people. You have a better sense of what it takes to do this type of role which increases your confidence. If this isn’t the role for you, then you can look at other roles that may be a better fit for you and start researching them instead.
There are so many people who are unhappy in their careers and dread getting up in the morning. Life is too short. Don’t let 20 years go by and then realize what you have been missing. Take the initiative to get started on doing your research to find your new career today!
Nearly all of my clients are working with me to help them put their career plan in place. So many of them wish that they would have started working on their plan earlier in their career. What are you waiting for? Set up time and let’s get started today! http://susanmbarber.com/schedule-an-appointment/
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