1. Who do I want to be, and why?
Here are some guiding questions: When you think of your career, what are the images that surface? Why do you do what you do? What drove you to decide your past career moves? Has your current career path been what you imagined? What was the most defining moment of your career so far? Any changes to your perspective and motivations? Do you still look forward to working in your current role, company, or industry?
When answering, don’t restrict yourself to work. The meaning we find in hobbies can be applied too. If you enjoy baking and hosting, consider being part of an employee engagement committee to better connect with your colleagues.
2. Where am I now?
Understanding your current reality sets the foundation. Examine your career and update your CV and professional profiles with your strengths, weaknesses, skillsets, certifications, values, likes and dislikes. Because our perception of reality might differ from others, pen down what you think comes naturally to you and seek the opinions of trusted family members, friends, colleagues, or your recruitment consultant. Again, don’t restrict yourself to work-based evaluations.
3. Where do I want to be, and by when?
Once you have a clearer idea of your career goals and current circumstances, work out your desired end goal and timeline. Think about how much longer you can realistically work to recognise how much time you have. Be open to exploring options that may not directly lead you towards your career goal, such as a horizontal career move. The experience you gain may be better for future progressions.
What if you’re unsure of your desired destination? Planning too far ahead may be counterproductive — it may restrict your ability to adapt, while an uncertain future may appear daunting. Instead, methodically plan your career a single step each time.
4. How do I get there?
Set out your career plan to get to where you want to be in your career. What are the practical actions to take now? Identify the areas to upskill and list out available resources. Stay updated on the upskilling and career opportunities and tap on those that are most relevant.
You’ll need to regularly reflect on your progress to further tweak your plans. It’s not always possible to do work that aligns with your ideal career path. Remember to take breaks once in a while and have fun navigating your career journey.
This article is contributed by Robert Walters Singapore.