Knowing clearly what you want from your career is not always easy. ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ is a common question asked in interviews, but your career goals, how you wish to achieve these goals, and your ultimate direction, are not the same thing. Understanding that your career is a journey will help you understand the difference between goals and finding the right direction for your career. While it’s always possible that you miss a goal, you want to make sure that your career never strays off track.
An old-fashioned journey generally requires two things. One of them is a map. You’ll use the map to pick one stopover after another, until you have arrived at your final destination. These stopovers are the equivalent to your goals in your career. Examples for goals might be:
The second tool you need for your journey is a compass. It indicates the direction you need to take to arrive at your final destination. Even if you miss a stopover, the compass will keep you on track and make sure you keep heading in the right direction.
Like a journey, your career also needs a compass. The compass should tell you the basic two to four elements you want to find true for your career. These are the elements you need to be happy in your job.
The objectives in your career are the stopovers on your route. These might change at any time. As you progress in your career, you’ll want to have goals to keep moving forward. However, when opportunities present themselves, remain flexible and be ready to change your goals.
The items on your career compass however should generally be non-negotiable. Diverting from them for more than a very short time will impact your life balance and your job satisfaction.
Let me tell you something about my own career to give you an example.
When I started college, my career goal was to become a ‘marketing director.’ At that time I did not have a career compass. When, after some years in my job, I was finally promoted to director of marketing, it was very clear that this was not my final destination.
So I developed my career compass.
It consisted of three fundamental truths I ascertained about my career:
This career compass helped me evaluate career opportunities very swiftly when they presented themselves. Although they deviated considerably from my career path, I accepted roles in customer service, customer experience and employee experience simply because they matched the direction of my career compass.
My career compass has helped me identify wonderful jobs and brought me together with some truly tremendous people. It also helped me make the decision to walk away from managers whose values conflicted with mine and to turn down job opportunities where I wouldn’t have been able to make a visible impact.
This helped me stay balanced and satisfied in the work area of my life.
Your steps to improve your Life Balance:
Let us know below how this works for you.
Doc ID #5020
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