The One Question We Need to Ask

We often find ourselves in career paths that 'happen' to us rather than ones we consciously choose. But what if we take the wheel and drive our careers in the direction of our strengths and passions? In this piece, I recommend five key strategies to fuel your career progression: πŸ“˜ Continuous Learning 🀝 Network Efficiency πŸ“£ Self-Advocacy 🎯 Goal Setting βš–οΈ Balanced Reflection Maybe it's time to pivot and step into the career journey you deserve.

Heather Pridemore

6/21/20232 min read

The one question we need to ask ourselves more often is - "Am I where I thought I'd be in my career right now?"

Through several recent conversations and anecdotal observations online, it has become evident that many of us don't plan our careers. Instead, they seem to happen to us. We take on jobs initially to meet basic financial needs, seeking stability and security. As we progress, we experience opportunities for growth and further integrate into industries we didn't necessarily aim to join.

During this journey, we must pause to consider:

  • Are we leveraging our strengths?

  • Are we engaged in work that sparks joy within us?

  • Are we moving forward on the path we envisioned, or have we lost our way?

  • Are we happy?

It's important to remember that it's perfectly all right if our careers haven't followed the roadmap we initially laid out. It's also okay to pivot.

So, are you where you thought you'd be in your career?

Let's explore some strategies to ensure that you are driving your career progression effectively:

Continuous Learning: Lifelong learning is the key to future-proofing your career and providing a steady perspective on your interests and career aspirations. Invest in upskilling and expanding your knowledge base. Embrace new skills to stay competitive and ahead of the curve in your industry or to gain the necessary skills to pivot to a new one.

Network Efficiency: Form meaningful relationships with your professional circle. These connections can open doors to new opportunities and provide invaluable industry insights. If you are looking to make a change, start networking and engaging with people in other industries to learn more about their roles and determine if another industry is the right fit.

Self-Advocacy: Recognize your worth and don't hesitate to advocate for yourself. Ask for the recognition, opportunities, and compensation you deserve. Speaking up for yourself is essential in ensuring your contributions are acknowledged and rewarded. If they aren't, it might be time to make a change.

Goal Setting: Set clear, defined goals to provide a sense of direction and motivation. Plan your steps towards achieving these goals to keep yourself heading in the right direction. That said, remember that it is often more about the journey than the destination.

Balanced Reflection: Take time to regularly assess your career progression. Are you moving towards your goals? Are you maintaining a healthy work-life balance? Are you happy? Reflect on these aspects, readjust your strategies if needed, and continue on your growth journey.

It's essential to understand that our careers are not set in stone. They are fluid, evolving, and adaptable to our changing interests, life situations, and the dynamic job market. If you find yourself somewhere you didn't plan to be, remember - you hold the power to pivot and reshape your career journey.