How to Envision Your Career Path

Before you understand how to envision your career, let’s review why having a career path is critical. Every successful professional has been through challenges, problems, victories, and all that a life of work brings to our lives, so what is the difference between those who “make it” and those who don’t? Those who “make it” know it is a journey, and as in every movie, a journey includes a clear goal, a vision, a place where we want to arrive, a mission, and a reason why we want to arrive. And that’s why having a career path is so important: Because it asks us for clarity on our mission and destination.  

So before the how, make sure you stop for a few seconds and answer: Why?  

By understanding the mission and the reason behind your career, you’ll be able to be patient when challenges arise, such as difficult teammates, clients, and managers crossing your way. When the focus is on the big picture rather than on your daily activities, you’ll also be able to let go of roles, companies, and projects that do not align with your path while recognizing the skills required and how to use them in different settings.  

A career path is a long-term journey that, for most of us, doesn’t happen in a straight shot. On the contrary, it is more like a winding, unknowing, unclear voyage that we unfold a little bit daily at work.  

So now, finally: How do I envision this path?  

Your first step is towards unveiling your values, the foundation of who you are, and your priorities (reminder: values can change with time and life circumstances). Simply Google the term “life values,” and you’ll find various lists with moral values to help you identify which one or, even better, your top 3 or even 5  values.  

Values help you identify when a company is right for you, when a team is not aligned with your beliefs, and when the culture supports your personality and needs as a professional. 

Moving to the next step in envisioning your career path, we have assessments. I lately became a fan of assessments as they can help us look at ourselves from a different perspective, the perspective of the observer and not the self. Allowing us to watch our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and behaviors from a distance, and giving us more self-awareness.  

Good&Co is a company that “applies science using psychological testing to establish a fit between a person and their workplace.” as described on their website where you can take a simple, free, and 3-minute quick assessment to learn more about your career path based on your unique personality, traits, and skills. 

“We provide companies and jobseekers with in-depth, actionable, data-driven insights to give a better understanding of themselves and their employees, which in turn encourages collaboration, reduces turnover, and ultimately, increases workplace happiness.” - Good&Co team. 

The third and last step: Go exploring! Have you heard about informational interviews? There are casual but very informative conversions that you can have with your network, asking questions such as: 

  • What are your daily activities? 
  • What responsibilities do you have? 
  • What do you like the most in your role? 
  • What has your career path been like? 

And many more great questions that provide you with real information about the market, different ways to walk a career path, more detail on roles that you’re unclear about, etc. 

Now that you have your why, mission, and foundation, you have explored and gathered information. Try answering the following question: Where do I want to be five years from now in my career? I’m sure you’ll have a much easier time envisioning your career and the path you want to walk to achieve your goal.  

Now, what about a thought partner? Make sure you check our programs and our executive coaches here at HACE. There are many resources to help support and guide you, no matter what stage you are at in your career! 

 

About the Author

Maria Eleonora Bailey is a Leadership Coach and Consultant, Speaker, Facilitator, and Founder of Conscious Careers Coaching & Consulting. She is dedicated to creating real empowerment for conscious leaders to turn their careers into a buck of possibilities. She believes in a world where humans create their own how-to formulas from self-knowledge and confidence, ditching the necessity of copying someone else at all times. She calls it the “sweet spot” between force and flow. She founded Conscious Careers Coaching, where she's on a mission to transform corporate professionals into confident leaders and careers into an expression of creation. Her main mission is to translate and reconfigure rules of leadership and career, supporting individuals to live in alignment with their true selves.

 

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