For real career success, it's important to think strategically about your goal and long-term plans
A goal without a plan is just a wish and a career plan is no different. That is the attitude of Sandra Lawler, founder director of marketing and digital talent recruitment company Alternatives.
"For real career success, you must first think strategically about your goal, where you want to get to in the longer term and challenge yourself to imagine what that looks like.
"Once you’ve envisioned your future, then you can begin to plan the route," Sandra said.
Climb the ladder
While many people do climb the ladder without the plan, having one can make a major difference to your career.
You will need to develop different skills based on what your objectives are, whether that is ultimately running your own business or if your aim is to reach the top levels of a large organisation.
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If you know what your big objective is, it makes it easier to make the right decisions along the way, according to Sandra. This also means knowing when to say no to opportunities.
"I’d encourage people not to jump at the role that offers the greatest package only (although it’s tempting), but go for the one that offers the greatest opportunity to learn, aligned to your plan," Sandra said.
"Go for the role you’re a little intimidated by, rather than the one you feel you can do already. Go for the company that is on a growth trajectory as it’ll present more opportunities."
Above all, Sandra said it is important to seek to build a career in an industry or with a brand you’re passionate about.
The best career success will come about when you’re happiest and most engaged.
Here are Sandra’s top five tips for career success planning:
Plan your career strategically and revisit the plan annually.
Be honest about what you really want - not what you feel you should want - and remember it’s ok to change your mind.
Plan the skills you need to acquire to be successful in a changing world and choose roles, companies and sectors that will help build them.
Work with some companies that are best practice, who will give you access to good training and skills building, at some point in your career.
If you’re changing roles, don’t make rash decisions, but put the effort into finding the strategically and personally right next step.
Prioritise great roles and learning over salary, but don’t be afraid to demand your worth. Seek out companies that value diversity and offer equal opportunity and benefits.
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