Planning the next career move can be daunting at times, but with the right plan of action anything can be achieved. When you feel that you need to take the next step in your career to find satisfaction and achievement at work, you might need to examine how your current job can be altered to better fit what you can offer or how you can contribute to make processes more efficient. Or, you need to look outside of your department or division to contribute better to the organization and make a career move that’s more satisfying and leverages your skills better.

The question is – how to plan the next step in your career? Here are three essential steps that you must take to take your career to the next level:

Step 1: Assess and Examine your Goals

Achieving career success requires more than luck and hard work, it requires a careful and strategic goal setting. A strategic plan will help you in discovering what’s most important to you and how to focus on achieving the career satisfaction that you currently lack. Answering these questions might be effective in planning for the future:

  • What skills I have that have not been sufficiently tapped in my present job?
  • What are some assignments that I can take on to broaden my expertise?
  • What skills would I need to handle this responsibility?
  • Are there any training courses that can help me get these skills faster and more efficiently?
  • What positions should I consider that would help me move on to either plan a lateral move or promotion?

Give more time and thought to the last question above. When you begin with the end in mind, charting the course of the journey becomes easier and more motivating.


Step 2: Build Network and Relationships

Involving others during career planning might introduce you to opportunities you had not even thought about. The more you interact and know about organization growth and industry trends, the more ideas you will get on what and how on the next steps. Interact with employees outside your own department, use occasions like meetings, training programs or even lunch meetings to meet people and build relationships.

During such interactions, evaluate;

  • What do other teams do?
  • What is their growth outlook?
  • What kind of opportunities exist now and what is planned in near future?

Take some time to research and plan out the next steps for a stronger and stable career move.


Step 3: Hustle and Act

Once ready with a plan of action, act. A plan is not useful unless you act on it. Some of the questions you need to spend time now to ensure your actions will bring in the optimum results:

  • Do any of your goals need to be adjusted based on the new information you have gathered from your networking efforts?
  • If yes, what new skills or knowledge would you need now?
  • What additional strategies have you come across?

Create a step by step plan of action and write your goals in an Action Plan. Take charge of your career and handle it as you would do to your project. With an end in mind and a well-defined roadmap, anything can be achieved. Create your own luck.