Businesses make plans to help them determine how they’re going to reach their goals in the years ahead. A local retailer might look for ways to expand their reach to a new market, while an online company searches for solutions to boost their digital sales. As the professional world continues to evolve and change, it only makes sense for job seekers to update their career plans too.
With the New Year well underway and the festive celebrations finally finished, now’s the perfect time for experts in any sector to start thinking about where they want their roles to take them.
It’s natural for your wants, needs, and expectations to change the more time you spend in your chosen industry. So, how do you keep your strategy relevant and focused, year after year?
Step 1: Know Your Options
The best way to begin updating a career plan is to audit your existing strategy and create a list of opportunities that might interest you in the future. Look at your skills, preferences, interests, values, and narrow down your options by researching companies or speaking to recruitment professionals in the field.
Remember, it’s not enough to just list a handful of possible positions you can fill. Prioritise by concentrating on your strong skills and the areas that interest you the most. Think about the benefits that appeal to you beyond salary and remuneration, like flexibility, or good company culture.
Step 2: Do Your Homework
Once you know what you can do, it’s time to think about what you really “want” to do. Whether you’re just beginning your life in the world of work after graduating from college, or you’re changing paths, make sure you do plenty of reconnaissance, by visiting brand websites and speaking to people in your preferred industries.
It might even be helpful to consider things like volunteering, internships, and shadowing that can help you to better understand the opportunities out there. Remember, the more you know about your dream job, the easier it will be for you to tailor your CV to each advertisement too!
Step 3: Establish a Plan for Finding Roles
With a basic idea of where you want your career to go next, you’ll be ready to start searching for new opportunities with passion and creativity. Don’t limit yourself to only sending CVs out to endless streams of organisations in your chosen sector. Instead, connect with specialist services and job boards that share targeted advertisements from your industry.
At the same time, remember to be persistent. Set up a weekly quota of how many applications you want to complete. Make sure that you tailor each CV to the employer in question, highlighting accomplishments and experiences that will benefit the team you want to join. Then, when you’re ready, proof-read each document before sending it.
Step 4: Look for Ways to Grow Your Network
Finding the perfect opportunity in today’s competitive hiring environment can be just as much about the people you know, as the skills you have. Remember that your qualifications are only one part of the recruitment puzzle, and the more you can cultivate new relationships with professionals in your sector, the more likely you are to appear as an authority in your field.
Just as corporations have their own “brands” online, you can be developing your “personal” brand too by joining specific groups on social media, and showcasing your knowledge whenever the opportunity arises. You can even start publishing your own blogs if you have a little bit of writing know-how.
Step 5: Build Your Knowledge
Not only does additional knowledge in your field make you a more competitive candidate when you’re applying for future roles, but it might make a difference to your salary too. People generally earn more money the more responsibility they have, and your expertise can open doors to positions that require a more in-depth set of skills.
Remember that training opportunities in the UK aren’t limited to college and university courses. There are plenty of online programs, tuition solutions, and certification options out there that will boost the impact of your CV and make you the perfect fit for the job of your dreams.
Keep in mind that as you continue to pursue the next step in your professional life, your career plan may change to reflect transforming trends in the industry. Keep an eye on the prize, but be flexible enough that you can go back and change your strategy whenever you need to.