I’m writing to you from the future — where I’m now a successful professional and have mastered how to build your career. I’ve got a great job with plenty of room for growth, and am enjoying a very nice lifestyle. It isn’t always easy, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I know right now you’re thinking about your career, how to build your career, and plan for your future — so I wanted to share some of what I’ve learned along the way.
The road to success is paved with setbacks. Nobody’s career is all good news, all the time. There will be layoffs and rejections, companies closing down, and missed promotions. These are simply the things that happen when you make a long-term commitment to working in business or any other field — there will always be moments when it seems like everything is falling apart.
Whenever this happens, remember what Steve Jobs said: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward.” The setbacks won’t make sense until later, but they’ll be important steps in getting you where you need to go.
You’re doing great work. Keep going!
I know, you’re probably thinking of how cool it would be to get a letter from yourself in the future. That’s what this letter is all about. You see, there are two sides to us: who we are now and who we’ll become in the future. And sometimes, the person we’ll become needs some help figuring out what to do next.
I just wanted to let you know that no matter where you are right now, things will work out OK. You’ll make mistakes and stumble along the way, but don’t worry: So long as you put yourself in a position to learn from your mistakes, everything will turn out OK for you.
I know it’s tough. Sometimes you feel like giving up. Sometimes you question if all this effort is worth it. Sometimes you wonder if there’s an easier way — a shortcut that will let you achieve your career goals more quickly.
Don’t do it. Don’t take the shortcut.
It’s tempting, I know. It might seem like a better way to get to where you want to go — but trust me, it isn’t. The shortcut seems like a good idea at first, but hang in there and do the work instead. When you arrive at your destination via the long route, you’ll be so glad you didn’t take that shortcut (and so much more prepared for whatever comes next).
You’ve probably heard people tell you that it’s important to plan for your future. Well, here’s a secret: When I was younger, I didn’t care so much about my future. Sometimes I wish I did care more about my future back then — but when I look back at how my life is turning out, I think it’s better that things happened the way they did.
If you don’t know, Learn!
Let’s say you’re 17 years old, and you’ve got a job in a store. You just started, so you know that your main priority is to learn the ropes and show your boss that you will be good at your job.
You’re good at some things, but there are other things you don’t know how to do yet: read a balance sheet, run a meeting, manage people, speak confidently in front of a group.
The key thing to realize here is that it’s okay not to know something. As long as you know that you should do something about it and start working on it. The real challenge is knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do. But first, let’s set the scene for later on in your career and what that might look like if you follow this advice.
In the future, you will look back on today and laugh.
Listen, don’t worry about anything. Don’t worry about getting that promotion, closing that deal, or making your sales quota. It’s only money and in the grand scheme of things. it doesn’t matter much whether you made your numbers this month or not.
I know you’re going to get frustrated at times and feel like giving up. You’ll wonder if it’s all worth it. But don’t quit! In the end, everything will be OK. Now, why don’t we see some of the top suggestions on how you can build/manage your Career and plan for the future!
How to Build Your Career and Plan for the Future
When you’re just starting your career, it can be difficult to think about what you’ll be doing 10 years from now. But the decisions you make early on — in your 20s and 30s — will have a tremendous impact on your career trajectory.
Every career is different, and every person has unique strengths and weaknesses. However, there are general principles that apply to everyone — whether you’re a programmer, a salesman, a writer, or something else entirely. There are also things that people often do wrong and should avoid.
Here are some suggestions for how to build your career and plan for your future:
Before you know where you want to go, it’s helpful to take stock of where you are now. If you’ve been working for a while, start with these steps:
1. Get clear about where you want to go
The first step is to get clear about where you want to go. It helps if you can write down a couple of sentences that describe the kind of job or position you’d like to move into in the next few years.
If you are already working, it pays to review your job description. Does it still accurately describe what you do? Can it carry You to your future goal? You may be doing more or less than the job description indicates. If so, talk with your boss about updating the job description and adjusting your goals and responsibilities accordingly.
I suggest using something called SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound). If you can define in concrete terms where you want to go, then it will be much easier for others (like your boss) to help you get there.
Remember, this is the most important part of building a career plan because it sets the stage for all the other steps. You can’t go forward until you know what direction you’re headed in.
2. Think long term
A career is a long-term plan or strategy for your working life. A career plan guides you in taking advantage of your unique skills and interests and turning them into a career. It includes planning the steps you need to take to reach each stage of your career. Career planning helps you decide what you want to do with your life and how to achieve your goals.
However, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind of work, but if you want to build your career, you need to start thinking strategically. Early on, you should be focusing on developing skills that are valued across industries and identifying areas where it looks like there will be growth in the coming years. This can help you make choices that set you up for success down the road.
For example, if you consider becoming a salesperson, it pays to read sales books and get an internship where you can horn your skill in that line of business. Now, imagine you don’t have a clue about where you are going or where you want to be. You are like tides by the river bank and take the direction of the wave. You will just flow with the day and in the end, you will be left with nothing but regrets.
3. Do some research.
After you have probably given your career prospect a deep thought and have probably penned down some stuff, the next on the list is to do the research.
Gone are the days when we don’t know it all. Most things are just within a simple search on the internet. You might want to search, what is it like to be an X in Y? Are other companies hiring for positions similar to yours? What qualifications do they require, and what duties does the job include?
Research What skills will you need. You need an understanding of the kinds of skills that are required for various jobs or roles at your company. Think about what skills you could use more of or need to brush up on, and start taking classes if necessary. Or maybe there’s something in your current position that you’ve never done before that would be useful for advancing — ask if you can do it!
You have the liberty to Check out job listings online at jobsandjapa.com or check with a staffing agency in your area to learn more about how marketable your skills are. Plus, it does hurt to try new things.
4. Identify key contacts and Network strategically
Who do you want to know? Start by trying to identify those key contacts, because they could provide invaluable insight into your next steps and help open doors for future opportunities.
Ideally, these people are successful leaders in their field, who are willing to advise or mentor others. You may already know some people like this, or they might be people that you aspire to meet one day.
You know what they say, your network is your net worth, yeah? This can never be less true for a person building their career. Smart career planning is a bit like an epic road trip: It’s not always easy, but with the right tools and a little planning, you can reach your destination.
Networking is crucial when it comes to building connections that could open doors for your career later in the future. You don’t just connect with everyone, you just have to know who to connect with and articulate the intention of the network. My unfailing hack in this life is to always be intentional in all I do. The good part? There are loads of platforms where you can network such as Linkedin, Twitter, etc. Just do it strategically!
5. Make Adjustments
Successful career planning takes time and is an ongoing process. Career planning is a process of setting goals, choosing and implementing strategies to reach those goals, and then evaluating progress and making adjustments.
Each year you should take the time to review what has happened in your career and make adjustments as necessary. You may need to update your resume or write job applications, develop new skills or learn how to use new technology. You just have to keep it flexible and in the end, you will be fine.
6. Switch jobs.
sometimes, all the miracle you need is to switch jobs. And if that’s the case, I know it might be hard but do it. If you want to change careers, you’ll first need to change your job. It’s a good idea to think about how your current experience can be translated into skills relevant to a new field.
For example, if you’re in customer service and want to switch over to marketing, emphasize how you’re used to working with people. If you have a customer service background and are looking for a role in branding or marketing, for example, mention that your experience interacting with customers has given you an understanding of what works for them.
You’ve worked hard for the job — now the job needs to work for you. If it’s not, then get out there and find something that is a better fit.
Finally, when it comes to building your career and planning for your future, it can be as overwhelming as any major decision in life. It pays to Have a plan A and a plan B. I usually have plans A₁, A₂, B₁, and B₂. Don’t wait for someone to permit you to succeed, Be ready to make tough choices, Be willing to invest in yourself, and Don’t be afraid of failure.
Often, when it comes to choosing a career, many people get hung up on salary and job security, instead of focusing on things that matter, such as personal fulfillment and satisfaction. While it’s important to earn enough money to live comfortably and ensure that there are plenty of opportunities in your field, these aren’t the only things that should factor into your decision. Think about what’s important to you when it comes to work — this will help you decide if a certain career is right for you. Think about impact, sustainability, and growth. At the end of the day, you will be OK!