If you’ve ever had to use any sort of map, either paper or electronic, you know the basics: To find your way, you must start with an end goal in mind. Consider that map as a metaphor for your career. Even if you’re not entirely sure where you want to go, it helps to put together some sort of map with an end goal, as well as strategies to get around any roadblocks that inevitably pop up.

  • Do a little backward planning. Basically, that means to figure out an end goal and move back from there, considering what steps you’ll have to take (pun slightly intended) to achieve it. Even if you’re not sure exactly what you want, come up with an idea of where you would like to end up. For example, if you know you want to work in graphic design, look at possible positions and talk to those in the business to figure out what skills and experience you need, then create a plan.
  • Conversely, find your starting point. If you feel uncertain as to just where you want to go with your career, you can take a few approaches. Look at what has worked so far, where you’ve shined, and figure out why and how you found success. What has made you feel the most satisfied in your work life? What have you found frustrating or lacking? Once you’ve figured out those answers, make a list of where you’d like to be in the next one, five, ten years with regard to a career.
  • Take it step by step. If you want more opportunities to gain new skills, what sort of timeline makes sense? How will you get there? Will you need to take an entry-level position somewhere at a company known for helping its employees with professional development? Can you put together a calendar of training, studying or networking to complete every month? It helps to set up those monthly or even weekly goals — and get others involved to either help keep you motivated or on track, or to simply ask questions about how best to go about your plan. You don’t have to drive your road alone.

Whether it’s working directly with a recruiter or discussing your ideas with a mentor or trusted colleague, whatever you can do to plan your route will help you figure out where you want to go with your career. Consider your goals mileposts along the way, guiding you toward your destination.

For more tips and ideas for wellness, contact the medical staffing experts at Medical Professionals.

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