No matter where you are at on your career path, it is always a good idea to be thinking about the next step. Unless you want to spend the rest of your work life in the same position, start planning ahead to where you would like to be in five or ten years. Here are 5 smart business moves everyone should be thinking about.
Where do you go from here?
Give some thought to where you would like to be in your career within three to five years. Do you want to stay with your current employer, but perhaps fill a higher-level position? Would you prefer working for a different company in another location, but in a similar position? Don’t just assume everything will fall into place naturally when the time comes. Decide now what you must do to be where you want to be in the next few years.
What type of additional education or skills will you need?
Start making preparations now to enhance or supplement your current skill set. For example, if you plan to return to college for a graduate degree, browse desirable colleges and universities online to find a program that you would like to enroll in. Many people in business go on to pursue a master of science in law program of study, for example. You will need to consider financing and scheduling issues in planning for college study.
Are you making new professional connections?
If you aren’t already, begin networking at various business events to meet others affiliated with your future career goals. Create a favorable impression with prospective coworkers and employers, and keep an updated resume handy in case an unexpected opportunity pops up. You may want to join a professional online networking community like LinkedIn, as well, and monitor companies and job openings of interest.
Do you have a mentor?
Everyone can benefit from having at least one successful person in their lives they can go to for information, advice, and feedback. A mentor can help you avoid common pitfalls, assist in making valuable connections, and provide a meaningful reference when you need one.
Have you established a professional reputation?
Be the best you can be at your current job so you can obtain a worthwhile reference if needed. Take available training at work to increase your value and expand your areas of expertise.
Being proactive now will prepare you for future advancement in your career.