One morning you realize that your current career direction might not be the right one for you. What are your options? Think it through and reset your goals if necessary. Here are some early indicators that tell you it’s time to reexamine your career goals.
FROM CONCEPT TO REALITY – Most career goals are developed when you’re younger and less experienced. Now that you’re into the profession, reality sets in. If you currently don’t have the energized passion you once had, reassess. Idealized goals may not fit what your want now.
A SHIFT IN PERSONAL OR PROFESSIONAL PRIORITIES – As your life changes so do your priorities: Marriage, children, and mortgages. You may become bored with a “numbers” job and want a “people” job to solve issues. The question: What are your key drivers?
EXPANDED EXPERIENCES AND SKILLS – As your skills and experiences expand, your view of career opportunities changes. Jobs and functions that were invisible to you beforehand can now be seen. Certified accountants may see major opportunities in forensic accounting, in high demand, low supply, and highly paid. Expanded vision produces expanded opportunities.
So, how do you reexamine your career goals?
RESEARCH YOUR OPTIONS – Be highly creative. It’s a two-phase process. First, research what it will take to reach your initial career goal. How many steps, and how long in each step to reach your goal? Second, research other options that are possible. Only you know the answers to these questions. Answers are different for each individual and career direction.
WHO DO YOU KNOW THAT IS WHERE YOU WANT TO BE? – One of the best ways to examine alternatives is to find a real-live model and figure out how they got to where they are, and then replicate it. Find out how he made the transition, what are the positives/negatives of the position, what were the steps he took, how much time to become expert, and so on.
DEGREE OF CHANGE VS. TIME – The more steps, education, certifications or experiences you need, the greater the time it will take you to reach your ultimate career goal. If you run out of time, you run out of options. Managing your plan within a reasonable time-line is the strategy for success.
DOWN OR OVER BEFORE UP AND OUT? – In some situations a potential boss is willing to take a risk on you, but in order to make the shift you may have to move down a level before you can move up the career ladder. Assess your risk/reward, over what period of time and decide.
Reexamining career goals is usually a painful process because it requires a great deal of introspection: What you could or should have done earlier in your career. However, the rewards are great as you renew your energy and passion to succeed. Don’t waste any more time, as time is not on your side. Do it!
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