Map your career path like a pro

Having a career path mapped out is key to your future success. Why? Because without a destination in mind, it’s impossible to know whether you’re on track to reaching it. Here are a few pointers to help steer you in the right direction.

Schedule regular reviews

You’re never going to get where you want to go if you only ever stop to plot your path after a really bad day at the office, or when your micro-managing boss is driving you crazy. Instead, schedule time in once a year (or every six months if you prefer) to assess where you are and whether you’re still on track. If you are, the exercise will leave you feeling positive about your future. If not, it’s the perfect time to make any necessary adjustments.

Set goals

Just as you would for other aspects of your life – exercise, finances, investments – it’s important to set short-, medium- and long-term goals for your career. Perhaps, for example, your short-term goal is working towards a promotion with your current employer, over the medium-term you’ve got your eye on a position at another company, and long-term, you’re planning to pursue your career abroad. The SMART approach can be especially helpful in helping you set all three goal types:

SPECIFIC
What do you want to achieve?
MEASURABLE
How will you determine whether you’ve achieved your goals?
ATTAINABLE
Do you have the right skills, knowledge, training, resources, ability to achieve your goals?
RELEVANT
Are your goals in line with the direction you want your career path to take?
TIME-BASED
What is the deadline for achieving your goals?

Don’t give up

Life doesn’t always go to plan. Neither will your career. But, the important thing is to make sure that you don’t let setbacks set you back. Sir Richard Branson said it best: “My attitude has always been, if you fall flat on your face, at least you're moving forward. All you have to do is get back up and try again.”

Find a mentor

Where would Luke Skywalker have been without Yoda? Or Harry Potter without Professor Dumbledore? They may just be movie characters, but mentoring relationships have made a significant impact in the real world, too. Oprah said of her mentor, Dr. Maya Angelou, “She was there for me always, guiding me through some of the most important years of my life. The world knows her as a poet but at the heart of her, she was a teacher.” Mentors have a huge amount to offer in the way of experience, knowledge, wisdom, encouragement and honesty, so do yourself a favour and find someone you can learn from as you map out your career path.

Think about salary protection

While a career path may allow for certain setbacks, like someone else getting the promotion you wanted, it doesn’t take into account the unexpected. What would your future look like, for example, if you were unable to work as a result of illness or injury? Would you be able to pay your monthly bills? And cover your day-to-day expenses? By putting salary protection in place, you’ll receive a percentage of your salary in regular monthly payouts. This will enable you to cover your living expenses and provide for your family until you’re able to resume your career, or until a set retirement age if you’re unable to work again.

If you’d like to find out more about salary protection from Standard Bank’s direct life insurance services, get a quote or request that a customer service agent call you back.

Sources
Fastcompany.com
Livecareer.com
Business.gov.au

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