A successful career strategy is all about understanding what you want and then putting a plan in place to achieve it. Too often people focus on the short-term without thinking about the long-term, and this can lead to frustration and a feeling of being stuck. If you’re looking to make a change in your career, or simply want to ensure that you’re on the right track, consider these tips first!
It’s important to understand that no career path is linear. There will be twists and turns, and you may have to take a few steps back before you can move forwards again. The key is to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, and then identify the steps that you need to take in order to get there.
Any strategy needs to be linked to a vision or objective
Strategic planning is an ongoing process for documenting an intended course of action. It’s used to plan and make decisions with the aim of achieving the best results possible. A long-term vision is necessary for success.
A well-planned strategy will factor in possible changes as opportunities and threats arise, ensuring that appropriate measures are taken at the right time.
Strategy isn’t just about what you do, it’s also about how you do it. When you encounter unexpected challenges, your strategy should evolve. You need to understand how your strategy will evolve because that’s when you get to see if it’s working. If it’s not, then you need to change it.
When you’re formulating a strategy, consider what your career is about. What is the purpose of your mission? What are your core values? How will you express those values in the future? These questions should assist you in making a clear statement of your goals.
It may seem like an easy task, but determining what is important and what isn’t can be challenging. You need to understand the purpose behind each strategic objective and then align everyone around those objectives. Once you have determined the purpose behind each goal, you can start setting the stage for success.
If you lead with conviction, it will not have an adverse impact on your performance. If you’re able to link your purpose to the long-term vision of your career in a way that makes your objectives correspond, you have a chance to outperform.
It’s important to be realistic when setting goals and objectives, as this will ensure that you don’t become discouraged if things don’t go according to plan. Be clear about what you want to achieve, and make sure that your goals are achievable.
Once you have your vision, you can start to develop goals that will help you get there.
Connect this vision to key goals.
A goal is a certain aim that you set out to achieve. Goals are frequently linked to a plan. These goals should be measurable and realistic, and they should correspond with your vision.
Strategic goals are your long-term professional ambitions. These are the goals you should strive for, but they may change over time. The operational goals are the day-to-day operations that will help you accomplish your strategic objectives. These are the steps you must take every day to keep moving towards your goals. Think about your values and vision, and ensure you aren’t mixing up strategic and operational goals. The strategic goal, for example, could be to take up a new job. To do this, you’ll need to come up with a new strategy. However, this is an operational activity that will help you reach that strategic goal.
Keep a clear perspective on what matters most to your career. You need to focus on the future, not just today. Your goals should be ambitious enough to stretch you, yet achievable enough to keep you motivated.
Identify what actions are required for your key goals
Strategic goals should be focused on what you want to accomplish in the future. These goals are usually long-term and forward-thinking. However, if you don’t have any operational goals that you can complete to get to the strategic goal, then you are better off focusing your efforts elsewhere. Think about the operational goals that come under each strategic goal. Is there an actionable step that you can take to help achieve the strategic goal?
If so, the strategic goal may be worthwhile for you.
When creating a strategy, it’s important to consider what your desired outcome is. If you’re looking to become a leader, then you need to think about how you plan to measure success. You should also consider the time frame you want to achieve this goal, and how you’ll measure “become a leader”.
Ex: “By 2023, I will complete a Course X and be a certified expert in Y. I will then apply for a team lead position Z.” This goal is more specific and measurable. In most cases, you can also measure progress toward this goal by tracking its impact on your day-to-day performance.
Understand what obstacles are going to come your way.
Once you have your plan, it’s time to execute it! But be prepared for bumps along the road. There will always be obstacles that arise, but if you’re prepared for them, you’ll be more likely to overcome them.
Some common obstacles include:
- Lack of clarity about your goals – If you’re not clear about your goals, you’ll have a hard time achieving them.
- Not having a plan – A plan will help you focus on your efforts and stay on track.
- Lack of resources – If you don’t have the resources you need to achieve your goals, it will be difficult to succeed.
- Procrastination – It’s easy to put off taking action when you’re not sure where to start.
- Lack of motivation – It’s hard to stay motivated when you’re not seeing results.
- Discomfort with change – Change can be difficult, but it’s often necessary to reach your goals.
- Fear of failure – Don’t let the fear of failing hold you back from taking risks.
Know where you need support to overcome these obstacles.
Finally, it’s important to understand that you can’t do it all alone. There will be times when you need support from others in order to achieve your goals. Whether it’s asking for help from a mentor or seeking advice from a friend, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
If you’re looking for a mentor, then our article “Your network is King” would be a good start.
By following the above tips, you can develop a strong career strategy that will help you achieve your long-term goals. And remember, don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way!