This is the fundamental step to achieving what you want from your career. If you do not have a clear focus of where you eventually want to be, it will be difficult to take the appropriate steps along with way.
Diversify your experiences and expand your knowledge and abilities by getting additional education and certifications and becoming involved in projects that are new and challenging. This must be done throughout your career, not just at the beginning. Remember that a career is a work in progress.
Create measurable metrics of results you achieve at all stages of your career. Develop yearly goals to continuously improve on these metrics and review your progress.
Make a conscious effort to consistently build a network of contacts within your own industry and with professionals in related sectors by attending conferences, and educational and networking events. Relationships are key.
Publishing white papers and other articles about issues and trends within your realm of expertise is a great way to get exposure and recognition for your abilities and talent while also offering valuable information. You can also develop your own web site or blog.
This is a good skill to have throughout your career because you will probably have to do it several times, even if it is with the same employer.
Determine what you are worth by using salary surveys and performing your own industry research. Look at your past earnings and consider your achievements. If you are interviewing for a new opportunity, it is a good idea to determine a salary range so that you are prepared to consider a specific offer. Be honest with yourself and be ready to substantiate why you deserve a certain level of compensation. This is where your performance metrics and results mentioned above will be beneficial.
This mindset has become a common one in recent years but it is not productive or well received. To succeed in any business or industry, you must work hard and earn what you get. You have to create your own value and continue to do so. There are no jobs or careers that allow you to be stagnant in this constantly changing business climate.
Because business is changing rapidly due to technology advancements and other reasons specific to your industry, it is imperative that you remain flexible and adaptable regarding your responsibilities, expectations and projects with which to become involved.
This is, by far, the most important thing you can do to excel in your career and achieve your goals. Education and skills are important but it is a person's character that really matters.
Allowing yourself to feel satisfaction and a sense of achievement when you accomplish your goals is good for your emotional and mental health. It allows you to build your own confidence and exude that positive characteristic to others. It also provides a way to refresh yourself mentally and clear your mind to proceed with your next endeavor. Simply put, it allows you to be content and remain happy with your career.
Keeping the above recommendations in the back of your mind and remaining open minded about new and different opportunities will help you to stay on your path to realizing your short- and long-term career goals.