Building a successful career is something many people dream of but often struggle to achieve. When you begin your professional life, it is easy to start a job, become used to the routine, and get stuck in the same role for years before realising it is no longer what you want.
Unfortunately, this means that many people become dissatisfied with their work-life, which can spill over into their private lives, creating a far-reaching effect. No one wants their work-life to be a disappointment and to miss out on the chance to meet their potential. So, preventing yourself from slipping into an unhappy work situation is vital if you are to enjoy a successful career.
Whether you are joining the workforce or returning to work after a career break to raise your family, it is helpful to take some time to plan your career to ensure you don’t get stuck in a role that you do not enjoy. Making some time for a bit of careful planning gives you the opportunity to think about what you want from your career and what you hope to achieve.
Planning ahead and taking a proactive approach to your career will help to ensure you get the most out of your employment and will give you the best chance of achieving success. But, knowing how to do this can be challenging. Here are some of the ways that you can kickstart your career and ensure that it is as successful as possible:
Understand What You Want From Your Career
The first step towards a successful career is to establish what you want to accomplish before you begin to do anything else. It is crucial to remember that success means different things to different people, so you should be guided by what career success means to you, rather than comparing yourself to others.
For some people, a successful career means a six-figure salary, and for others, it means finding a job that they enjoy and excel in. Setting yourself some personal goals and prioritising the things that are most meaningful to you is the best way to establish what you really want from your career. Once you understand what you want, it becomes so much easier to begin planning out your professional life and taking steps to make your goals a reality.
While you may not be able to make all of your dreams become a reality to start with, they will provide you with something to aim for and work towards. Setting overall career goals enables you to break them down into smaller steps and to start making progress faster.
Do Your Research
Once you understand what you hope to achieve from your career, it is time to start thinking practically in terms of specific career choices to begin narrowing down your options. You may find it helps to research different industries and to explore the various job roles available within these sectors. Through your research, you are likely to come across career options that you never even knew existed, and you may just stumble across your dream job in the process!
Understanding which industry that you hope to work in will help you to refine your career search further, and you should find that you discover some niche job titles that are specific to the industry that are worth exploring in greater detail. After finding some job titles that have caught your interest, your next step is to begin examining the requirements for these roles. Understanding which qualifications and skills are required for these positions is helpful and will enable you to assess if the role is suitable for you.
Through your research, you should be able to gain an idea of the working patterns and availability requirements of the role, too, as this will play a crucial role in helping you decide if it is the right choice.
Assess Your Strengths
Understanding your strengths is beneficial in both your personal and professional life but is especially helpful when trying to get started in a new career. Knowing your individual strengths is a great way to find a job that matches your attributes and your preferred way of working. So, thinking about what you are good at, the kind of environment that you feel most productive in, and the type of activity that helps you to thrive is essential when trying to choose a fulfilling career.
Understanding your individual strengths can be challenging, as it is hard to assess your own attributes objectively. Many people are too hard on themselves and much too modest when thinking about their strengths, and this can mean they overlook some of their most valuable attributes. Luckily, there are several ways you can determine your strengths and understanding of what you are good at. You could begin by asking for feedback from the people around you.
Asking those that know you best for their opinions on your strengths can throw up some surprising results, and these can be incredibly useful. You may also choose to take personality tests that identify your main strengths and weaknesses again; these can help you to identify attributes that you were unaware you possessed.
One such test is the SDI , which is a self-assessment tool that helps you to understand your core motives and how they impact your behavior. The Strength Deployment Inventory assesmenet is based on the theory that everyone has three core motives: people, performance, and process. These motives influence how we interact with others, approach work, and manage our time.
These types of assessments can help you to focus your attention on your best qualities. In turn, the tests ensure that you have the knowledge you need to find both an industry and a job role that lets you use your strengths to their full potential.
Build Your Skills
Once you have an understanding of your best qualities and the ideal way for you to work to your strengths, it should become a lot easier for you to determine your next steps on your journey to finding your perfect career. But, as well as determining your strengths, you also need to identify your current skill set and keep this in mind when searching for a route into a successful career. Even if you don’t currently have the skills required to pursue your preferred career, you should not let this deter you. Instead, you could choose to focus on developing your skills so that you are prepared for the very best start to your career.
Undertaking further training to increase your skillset is an excellent way to broaden your knowledge and put yourself in a far more favourable position when applying for roles and enjoying success in the workplace. Looking for training companies such as the Corporate Coach Group that offer a variety of courses could help your professional development.
Constantly developing your skills will ensure you gain the knowledge and skills needed to shine in interviews and hit the ground running when starting a new job. An increase in your workplace skill set may also help you to apply for roles at a higher grade, meaning that rather than starting in an entry-level position, you are able to begin progressing your career at a faster rate.
Get a Mentor
Once you have secured employment in your preferred industry and have started working, you may feel keen to progress as soon as you can to give your career the kickstart you are looking for. One valuable way to advance your career is to look for a mentor to guide you. With the help of a mentor, your career should be able to progress at a faster rate. Your mentor should be able to provide guidance to help you expand your knowledge and skills.
Mentors can also help you to continue developing your professional persona to further your career. But, one of the most helpful aspects of having a mentor on your side is their assistance when applying for promotions and new opportunities. Your mentor should be able to help you to prepare for job interviews and coach you for promotion chances to give you the best chance of a successful outcome.
Providing constructive feedback is a vital aspect of a mentor’s role, so working with them to enhance your promotion chances and focus on areas for improvement is a great way to start progressing your career faster. Mentors can be a valuable asset for employees, especially when embarking on a new career path. But, choosing the best mentor is vital to ensure you gain the career benefits of having one on your side.
Your workplace may have a mentorship scheme in place that matches employees with more experienced mentors in the organisation. So, it is worth enquiring about mentor schemes when you join the company.
No matter what stage you are at in your working life, launching a new career can feel challenging and a little intimidating. So, it is beneficial to do everything you can to make it as easy as possible for yourself to succeed.
With careful planning and research, you can give yourself the best opportunity for success and kickstart your career in the way you hoped. Once your working life is off to a flying start, it will be so much easier to keep the momentum going as you continue your progress to even greater success.
Luciana joined our team as a mum blogger in 2020. A dedicated mum to a lively daughter and a dog, Luna, Luciana brings authenticity and passion to every post. Her expertise in parenting and lifestyle topics offers practical, relatable advice for real-life situations.