We all know that a well designed job search requires much more than help with your resume and job interview tips. Usually it’s good to get advice from the experts and career counselors or coaches. But, it is far more important to know yourself and to know where you want to end up. Do you have a picture in your mind of where you’ll be in 5 years..10 years? Can you describe it? Have you written it down ? With this picture or goal in mind, can you now plan for tomorrow’s career strategy? What can you do, tomorrow, that will lead to the better job or the promotion?
Every step you take towards securing a new position, obtaining a highly desired promotion, reaching short-term career goals should be based upon a big picture – – your Career Vision. Your Career Vision provides the pathway for your personal success. It is your Career Vision that keeps you on track during disappointments and in the midst of organizational or personal changes.
As the central character in this strategy, you’re the one who has to articulate your vision, capture your success stories, devise the steps needed to secure an interview, target desired companies, research each company to ensure they fit your interests and goals, and get the interview. We have to know what it is that we’re seeking to be effective.
Recently, I received an email from a business associate who wanted to proudly share a recent promotion within a major corporation. Since I’ve known this professional for over ten years and have heard him speak of his Career Vision, I recognized how valuable his stepping stones mean to him. His careful preparation, and planned risk-taking, was leading him to career success that had personal value to him and his family. When necessary he had made adjustments and changed jobs, but he kept focused on achieving the big picture.
The steps to creating your Career Vision are similar to the process of drafting a company mission statement or vision. If you’ve ever participated in this process, you will understand the concepts. However, due to the size and functioning of corporations, it can take months – – sometimes years – – to complete a mission statement.
That’s not the case when you create your personal Career Vision; the process is considerably shorter and there’s no need to get an entire management team together to complete it. What’s most important is that your Career Vision be based on your “Reality” and your “Dream.” Between those two areas is a gap of compromise that allows you to create a successful vision of your career. Whether you’re searching for a new job, a promotion, or career satisfaction, it’s important to have a vivid picture in your mind of where you’re heading.
It’s important that your Career Vision be drawn directly from your personal values, family background, financial desires, geographical limitations, physical limitations, etc. At least 25% of your Career Vision deals with your Reality.
The remaining 75% is based upon your dreams – – the bigger the better. Your life long dreams provide the basis of your Desire. To connect the conflicting nature of your Reality and your Desire, it’s important to look for ideal compromises. If you’re able to respect your Reality and still pursue your Desire, then you’re on the right track. Your Career Vision should reflect your passionate and strong interests. Most importantly, it should be one that you can vividly capture on paper, verbalize, and be able to see or envision. It does not have to be materialistic – – it should, however, authentically detail your personal long term career goal.
Interviews are designed to compile results of your career-related actions, as well as to determine how well you will fit within the company. These are key measures and important to remember prior to starting your next interview. If you’ve done your homework (self evaluation and company research), then there are no difficult interview questions to answer. There’s only a discussion to take place regarding how well suited you are for the position.
Your Career Vision should serve as the back drop for your career decisions and directly impact the short-terms step of interviewing. Your Career Vision should provide the motivation and drive needed for you to succeed within the interview. Each interview provides much needed feedback regarding the extent to which you are dedicated to achieving your Career Vision. Are you ready to create your Career Vision?
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