Building a career is about seizing opportunities. However, if you proceed haphazardly, you can end up going in circles. Or you can find yourself in a dead-end situation, forced to consider a massive career change.
The modern economy involves a significant amount of movement. Government data suggest that people will hold, on average, approximately 12 jobs during a lifetime. However, most of that job-hopping happens early in a career. About half the job changes occur before a worker reaches their mid-20s.
This trend is borne out by other stats. Separate Department of Labor data show that among people over 55 years old, the average tenure in their current job is just over ten years. For people in their early 20s? Just over one year. And for people between the ages of 25 and 34 years old, the figure hovers at not quite three years.
What do these stats mean? They indicate that the usual course of events is to jump around to different positions early in a career, before hopefully settling into something more permanent around middle age. But following this pattern involves a fair amount of planning. It’s easier to get that plum mid-career position if you make the right moves earlier in your professional life.
It’s never too early (or too late) to get your career on track.
Here are some steps you can take to set career goals… and then actually achieve them:
- Envision Your Future – The first step in setting a goal involves figuring out what goal you want to achieve. Think of it in terms of a map: you can only get directions if you know your destination. Before going any further with the process, consider what you’d like to accomplish and what career path would suit you best.
- Plan Out the Details – Back to the “directions” metaphor. It’s one thing to look at your planned trip from New York to Chicago and say something like “I need to head west.” It’s another to actually plan the trip, knowing where and when you’ll make each turn and which specific roads you’ll take. Careers work the same way. Once you have your ultimate goal in mind, work backward to figure out how to achieve it. Know what steps you’ll have to take at every stage in the process.
- Create a Timeline – For any process to reach its best outcome, there has to be accountability. In other words, you need to create some way of measuring your progress. Otherwise, you won’t know if you’re succeeding or not. Achieving this kind of accountability in achieving your career goals involves formulating a timeline. As part of this, you should set mini-goals, stages along the road to your ultimate objective. Make sure the timeline is reasonable, but be strict with yourself about achieving each step along the way.
- Engage Your Network – Everyone knows that a network provides a vital tool for finding new jobs. However, that’s not the only value you can get from a web of professional connections. It also acts as an indispensable source of career advice. Tap into this by asking people for their input. You’ll learn valuable information and might discover an unexpected opportunity in the process.
- Work with a Staffing Agency (and Get a Career Coach in the Process) – You don’t have to face the long process of achieving your career goals alone. Seeking out advice can also involve professional help. That’s where a staffing agency comes in.
A top-flight recruiter, like TriStarr, won’t just find you jobs well suited for your skills and background. They can become a kind of “career coach,” helping you draw that professional road map and giving you the best odds of finding a perfect long-term situation.
Contact TriStarr today to find out how they can get your career on the right path.