Creating and Maintaining a Career Strategy

Creating and Maintaining a Career Strategy

by Chris Waters, Research Manager, Acclivity Healthcare

As we approach the end of 2013, it is the perfect time take a moment and review where you are, where you’ve been, and where you want to go. Whether you are in the early stages of your career, mid-career, or an established professional, each new phase of your career is just as important as the last. Taking time to reflect on your achievements will help you to define new short and long-term career goals and modify any previous goals that you may not have satisfied. Take a look at the four steps below to help you create and modify your own career strategy.

Review Your Career Goals: Did you set any career goals at the beginning of this year? Whether you wrote formal goals on paper or simply thought to yourself, “I am going to get that promotion this year.”, most professionals have some idea of something they would like to accomplish for the upcoming year. Setting goals is an important factor in advancing your career. It provides focus and gives you that boost of motivation to help you move forward and avoid distractions. If you set goals this year, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did I achieve my goals?
  • Am I satisfied with what I accomplished?
  • Were there any road blocks in the process of achieving my goal?
  • Do any of my goals need to be modified?

Review Your Year: What have you accomplished over the last 12 months? Reviewing your progress and identifying specific details of accomplished or unaccomplished goals from the previous year is an important step in setting new goals or adjusting your previously set goals for the next year. Think back to each month of the past year and ask yourself:

  • What new skills have I acquired?
  • Did I learn any new processes?
  • Were any opportunities lost or gained?
  • How have I improved my career since the beginning of the year?

Develop Your Career Outline: How far along in your career are you? Where do you want to be? Review and examine where you currently stand and record where you want to go. Take some time to create an action plan for the upcoming year.

  • Am I where I planned to be in my career?
  • Are my previous and current goals and action plan feasible?
  • Am I happy with my current progress?
  • What could I be doing more or less of?
  • What is the next step I want to accomplish?

Setting an Action Plan: What specific steps will you take to further your career? Create a list of the steps you plan to take. These steps might include furthering your education and training, expanding your network, or strengthening your professional brand. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How can I create the most efficient path to accomplish my goals?
  • What tools do I need to begin setting my plan into action?
  • Are there any specific resources I can utilize?

Now that you have a completed strategy, it is time to put your plan into action. Make sure you take time at the end of each year to reflect upon your previously set goals. Modify any partially accomplished or untouched goals from the previous year and set at least one more goal for the upcoming year. You can do it!