This car and driver represents how we are the drivers of our own careers. The driver in the “little red corvette” pays homage to Prince (I live in Minnesota and used this image in a program last week so his untimely death was on my mind).
In my coaching I often hear employees searching for answers about what’s next in their careers. Employers don’t have crystal balls to guide us and, as for me, I think it’s exciting to see where life will take me. However, to help figure it out, I’ve come up with the following roadmap for navigating a career.
Start with a clear vision. Have some idea of where you want to end up. Does it turn you on to imagine yourself as a high level leader? Or, is being home with your kids every night for dinner your picture of happiness? Whatever it is, try to be clear about what makes you happy.
Know yourself. Self awareness is essential to happiness, otherwise you’ll be living someone else’s life. What inspires you? What are your strengths? How do you come across to others? How do you make decisions?
Create a plan. Design action steps that help you see one-three-five-ten years into the future. What knowledge, skills and abilities will you need? What experiences will you need? Who can help you get there?
Implement the plan. Start. Go for it. Do something, even if it’s wrong.
Evaluate progress and re-calibrate the plan. Check in with yourself. Mark your calendar and see how you’re doing at least once a year or once a quarter. Hold yourself accountable.
Celebrate success. Don’t wait until you’ve “made it” all the way to the end. Celebrate every inch of the way. When I started my business, I thought there’d be a day, sometime in the future, that would mark success. However, as I overcame obstacle after obstacle, I found small victories along the way were very important. Each achievement was a signal that I was on the road, getting closer to my vision.