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Learn About Personal Career Development

If you are like most workers, the idea of moving up in a job is a huge motivating factor. The possibility of earning higher wages, getting more responsibilities and gaining recognition for achievements in the workplace helps you stay focused. However, it is hard to get ahead if you do not know what your end goal looks like. Setting goals is one of the best ways to advance your career because this allows you to have a clear path to success.

When developing a career goal, it can sometimes be hard to account for unforeseen circumstances. For example, what will you do if you discover you are not happy at work or are unsatisfied with your progression in a certain career path? Worse yet, do you have a contingency plan in case you end up losing your job unexpectedly? Thinking ahead for these possibilities will help you set realistic goals while still feeling inspired to get ahead in the workforce.

Making a Career Plan

The steps required to advance your career will vary depending on your line of work and where you are currently at on your career path. No matter what, you can expect to start in an entry-level position before you can work your way up to a more senior level. The idea of starting at the bottom may be disheartening, but keep in mind that everyone has to start somewhere. Therefore, in order to be realistic with your career plan, you should be prepared to start in a lower-level position.

Determining your career plan can be challenging if you do not already hold a job in the industry, or in some cases, with the particular company, that you want to be involved with throughout your career. Therefore, it can sometimes be easier to develop a career path after you get your first job in the ideal industry or with a company that will help you reach your end goal.

Once you get this job, determine what success looks like for you. Perhaps it means moving up to a managerial role or simply staying in the same line of work but earning higher wages or advancing to the senior level. Whatever your picture of success is, you can start outlining the specific steps that will help you get there once you have that image in mind.

Discover How to Change Careers

There are many reasons to completely change your career path. Perhaps you discover that you are unsatisfied at work or a job becomes too demanding. Career changes can also happen if you find that it is too difficult to reach your goals in a particular line of work or you want to go back to school to start an entirely new type of job.

Whatever your reason may be for changing careers, it is important to be thoughtful about your decision. Sometimes switching to a different company or applying for a slightly different type of job will give you the results you want, making it unnecessary to switch careers altogether. However, a total career change is sometimes the answer. In such cases, the most important factor to think about is the transferability of your skills. Your work experience up until this point might not seem applicable to your new career path at first, but after giving it some thought, you can use your resume to highlight the ways your existing skills will help you excel in a different line of work.

Handling a Job Loss

No one wants to think about losing a job, but it is important to plan for every possibility if you want to be realistic about your future. The best way to plan ahead for a sudden job loss is to regularly set aside money in your savings account to cover things such as your rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries and other necessities. Just to be safe, your savings should include enough funds to cover your expenses for a few months.

The prospect of losing a job might seem devastating, but sometimes it provides new opportunities that you have never considered before. For example, a sudden job loss may prompt you to try a new career path that you have been considering or, in some cases, get a great new job that you never would have applied for without losing your former position.

Whatever the outcome may be, your first concern after a job loss will be making things work in the immediate future. This may mean developing a budget that accounts for your loss of income or looking for a short-term job to help make ends meet while you are seeking out a better position. Applying for unemployment insurance benefits is a smart move in many cases, especially if you do not expect it will be hard to find a new position right away. No matter what, you can get back on track by developing a new career goal to work towards once you find another job.

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