Simple steps to gain more traction on your long-term career objectives

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Whether we realise it or not, we all have certain things that we would like to achieve in our professional lives. However, every day we’re faced with challenges that get in the way of us making real progress toward achieving our goals.
 
Life is busy. It’s uncertain, and every day delivers a new set of curve balls that we need to adjust and adapt to. Things become even more difficult if you’re not entirely sure where you want to take your career.
 
If you’re a little unsure about how to kick things into gear and ensure you’re gaining real traction toward achieving your long-term career objectives, here are four simple steps you can follow to help you get where you want to go.

Set the criteria

It’s impossible to achieve a goal if you’re not entirely clear on what that goal is. While most of us have a general idea of what we want from our working lives, very few of us take the time to refine exactly what we want it to look like.
 
Rather than stumbling blindly through each day hoping you’ll somehow end up where you want to be, a more effective strategy is to formally identify what you do and don’t want from your career.
 
Do you want to work in a large corporate setting or do you prefer working in a smaller, more close-knit environment? What type of tasks do you most enjoy performing? Do you like to be given clear directions or to be left to your own devices? Do you want a flexible work-life balance? Do you want the option to work remotely?
 
It’s all about identifying what’s most important to you. If you find you’re struggling to do this, you may find it easier to identify what you don’t want rather than what you do want. Start with your “undesirables”, then work backwards from there.

Create your shortlist, then narrow down the options

Now you have your criteria, it’s time to set your shortlist. The working world is full of possibilities and opportunities, but having so many options can make it difficult to identify exactly where it is that you want to go.
Simple steps to gain more traction on your long-term career objectives
A good approach is to start researching the various avenues you could go down to find out more about what they involve, then assess each option against your criteria to see which trajectory represents the best fit for you.
 
Remember, you can always shift and pivot down the track if you find it’s not exactly what you want. Changing your career direction isn’t the faux pas it once was, in fact it’s almost expected that you’ll make a couple of changes in career direction in today’s environment!

Establish your game plan

Next, it’s time to formalise your ideas into a workable plan.
 
Achieving a goal requires the successful completion of a number of smaller steps, so take a tactical approach and map out all the steps you need to complete to get where you want to go.
 
If you need to expand your knowledge, hit the books and undertake more study. If you need to further develop your skills, complete some professional development courses. If you need to gain new skills, find a way to get exposure and experience in these areas.
 
Tick off each item off your plan as you complete it. You may even choose to give yourself little rewards for achieving key milestones along the way to keep yourself motivated.

Check in with yourself regularly

 Life can be complicated and the goals that you originally set out to achieve may change over time.
 
Given recent events, we all know just how rapidly and dramatically the environment we’re operating in can change. This highlights the importance of continually taking stock of where you’re at both personally and professionally.
 
Ask yourself how you’re feeling emotionally and mentally. Have your goals or priorities changed? Have you made much progress? Do you need to push harder to get where you want to go, or do you need to hit the brakes a little?
 

Remember that plans can be tweaked and adjusted as required. If what once seemed like a great idea no longer seems that appealing, don’t be afraid to reassess your position and see if you’re still on the right track. Most importantly: no matter where you’re headed, never forget to enjoy the ride!

Teamrecruit is Australia’s most established recruitment agency specialising in truck, earthmoving and agricultural machinery dealerships in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Find out more about Teamrecruit and how we support employers and candidates in the dealership industry.

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