Using Your Past and Present to Create a Future Career Path
Have you noticed that you lack interest in your current position, or do you feel that you have outgrown the role that you have been in for the past few years? These feelings aren’t uncommon, and usually mean that you are ready to move on to a more challenging role or attempt a career in a new industry. When it comes to looking for the next opportunity to advance your career, the possibilities can feel endless and overwhelming. Instead of succumbing to these feelings and staying in an undesirable role, take some time and create a career path. This career path does not need to be set in stone, and it is likely that you will want to revisit and revise it as you evolve in your professional life; however, it is important to create a career path that will help you to visualize and reach both your short and long term professional goals.
While you are brainstorming and creating a suitable career path, make sure that you are not solely looking towards the future, but are also considering your previous experiences in addition to the reasons why you feel compelled to leave your current position.
What is your current position lacking?
In order to determine the path that you want your career to take, you must first determine what is lacking in your current role. Ask yourself the following questions to find out what is necessary to look for in your future career.
- Do you enjoy your current company’s environment/culture?
- Are you bored in your current role?
- Do you feel challenged?
- Do you enjoy the industry you are working in?
- Do you enjoy working in a team?
- Are you happy with your current level of responsibility?
- Are you working on projects that you are passionate about?
The answers to these questions will help you discover the voids that should be filled by your future roles, and will give you an understanding of where to start on your path to attaining career satisfaction.
What path will you take?
Many of us start our professional lives by setting a career path and expecting that it will lead us through to retirement; however, the reality is that it is normal for your career destination to change as you evolve as a professional, and with each evolution it is important to make adjustments to your career path. Once you know what areas are lacking in your current role, you can start to research career moves that will help you to fill these voids. After exploring your options, decide which career moves are realistic, make a list of which interest you the most and start mapping where each of these career moves could eventually take you. Once you can visualize where these different career paths can lead, decide which path will keep you engaged in your work and lead you to the ultimate goal of job satisfaction.
How can your past help you get there?
You may think that your past is behind you, but it can still help you in creating your future career path. By looking at your past education, job experiences, trainings and certifications you can determine what careers and roles you are qualified for. This can help you decide if you are ready to jump into a new industry, or if you need further training before starting your desired career path. Ideally, you will have gained enough transferable skills and meaningful experiences to easily transition into your improved career path.
Despite your best efforts, you may veer off of your original career path throughout the course of your professional life; as a result, you need to know how to reevaluate and revise your career path without panicking. When you realize that it is time to move on, use your past and present experiences to guide you in creating an improved career path.