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6 steps for a career makeover

What you can do to make sure your career does not plateau

Saturday November 19, 2016,

4 min Read

You may be a new comer into the workforce, or someone who has been around for a really long time. As years progress, career progression plateaus. You will need to keep improvising and constantly innovating your career strategy to keep growing.

Your career graph has to keep constantly moving forward, to keep pace with the changing times around you. If you are in the same position, role, or even the city for a really long time, chances are, you will be redundant over time. Either technology or someone young and smarter, will do your job for half the pay.

Every career has various inflection points. Your first job, your first promotion, the first time you lead a team, a whole function, could be a few. Your personal life story also influences these inflection points. Marriage, kids, health,ailing parents, and lifestyle changes are some of them.

All of us need career makeovers at each of these inflection points. This makeover will kick-start the trajectory to your next goal. The time for these makeovers and the inflection points could be different for each one of us. However the makeover is something we all have to go through, to be ahead of the game.

With the holiday season setting in, this is the right time for you to take a step back, reflect and re-invent your career. Here are 6 steps for you to follow for such makeovers

Decide on the next stage

The first step is to decide on what next. This sets the next destination, and the time frame for reaching the goal. Make sure this goal is the next important thing for you. Like Jones Loflin & Todd Musig in their book “Getting to it” suggest, deciding your next IT, is the first step towards this makeover.

Schedule and follow schedule

Almost all successful people in the world have a schedule. They follow the schedule like white on rice. It is not list of “To do”, or a bucket list. Successful people are sticklers of a plan and schedule. Everything in their day has a time pre-booked. Make time for the things that will help you reach your next IT, and do it in your most productive hours.

Invest in yourself

Learn. I can never over do this recommendation. Constant learning is the key to your success. Whatever you decide to do, keep learning. Get certified, work as an intern to gain experience. Whatever it takes, Learn. The minute you feel you know a thing or two about something, learn the next thing.

Meet people in your group

In today’s connected world, it is a sin not to network. Connecting with like-minded people, will open up a world of possibilities. with a large network of people you can reach out for help, you will be able to get to your goals faster.

However networking is NOT about asking the other person for help. It also means you will need to add value to the relationship and be willing to help. When you reach out to someone, make sure you find common ground and hold out the offer to help.

Talk about your plans

The world would be devoid of “Alternate Current” if Nikola Tesla did not talk about his plans and ideas. Be willing to talk to every relevant person, seek feedback, and face rejections. These conversations will expand your horizon about your idea.

Overcome your fear — visualize your future.

Finally, at the end of the day, when you are ready and convinced about your ideas or plans, be ready to overcome your fear of failure. Visualize how the future will be, and where you see the next step heading. Sometimes this is driven by data and at times, it is a leap of faith. Which ever is your path, take the plunge!

*Cover image by Liz Ryan for Human Workplace 2014