Are you aiming for success, or is your future riding on the kindness of strangers? Where do you intend to be in five, ten, or fifteen years, and what are you doing to get there? Time is not your friend.
Take charge of your career. There are no guarantees regarding the future, but your odds of success increase dramatically if you take time, think, plan, and act.
The first step in aiming for success is to know yourself.
Knowing yourself means knowing what you really want, now and in the future. It means knowing your personal strengths and weaknesses, to construct a career strategy you can effectively implement. And it means knowing your own values, so that the career and life path you pursue is a reflection of who you are, and who you want to be.
What do you really want? What are your priorities? Success means very different things to different people.
- Consider both short and long term goals, and set a balance. Fancy vacations might be appealing, but too many of these may keep you from buying your first house.
- What is your target balance between time and money? Are 18 – hour work days worth it to you, or are you willing to live with less money, to have more discretionary time?
- Do you want status, power, respect, titles, or other things?
- Create your personal goals statement.
What are your strengths and weaknesses? How can you structure your career strategy to take advantage of your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses?
- What do you do extremely well?
- What critical skills do you lack?
- What do you like to do, and what tasks do you hate?
- What is your best strategy for working toward your success goals?
What are your values? A successful career is one which supports your value set.
- Where do you stand on personal values such as integrity and honesty?
- What corporate values are consistent with your personal philosophy?
- What global issues are important to you? How do you see yourself supporting these?
- Use these to add to or modify you personal goals statement.
Take what you know about yourself, and create a description of your successful career five, ten and fifteen years from now. Use this to guide your career decisions and actions. Create your vision, act now, and aim for your personal definition of success!