5 Crucial Steps for Planning Your Next Career Step

Many professionals take positions for different reasons. It can be anything from financial security to the provided benefits. Some people carefully plan out their career progression so they can meet their desired goals, while others only focus on the position they currently hold.

Planning your next career step can have many positive effects on your work and personal life. Not only will it make you challenge yourself and make you learn new skills, but it can also help you increase your financial stability over the long term, make you engage in positive career development activities, and land you a job that better meets your personal needs and improves your work-life balance.

Below we share five crucial steps for planning your next career step and becoming the person you want to be.

  • Understand Your Strengths and Weaknesses

If you decide to look for a new job, you will most likely need to know what your strengths and weaknesses are. This can be beneficial to both your career and private life. A good starting point is to think about different work-related situations where you feel you succeeded or where things didn’t run smoothly. Consider why things went the way they did and how you felt in those particular moments. 

For example, you may be very good at planning and coordinating a project, but not nearly as good at handling pressure and having too much responsibility. Understanding how you work is important when it comes to developing your career.

  • End Things on a Good Note

If you want to find a new job, then you need a solid strategy in place. First of all, if you are planning to quit your current position, then you should write a resignation letter as a way to show respect to your employer.

A resignation letter formalizes your departure from your current employment and gives all the details of your departure from employment, including information about the end date of your employment. It creates a more courteous and professional impression and leaves a paper trail documenting that you have given notice. If you’re not sure about how to start crafting one, look for a resignation letter template as it can help you get your main points across.

  • Identify Your Interests and Skills

Your interests reflect the person you are. So it’s much more enjoyable to have a job that overlaps with your interests. Of course, you don’t always have to build a career around your interests. However, it can give you a hint about the direction you could take in your career.

Your skills are very important when it comes to planning your career. Whether your next career move involves the desired promotion or a new role with a different organization, you will need to convince the hiring manager that you’re the best candidate for the position. Knowing what your unique skills are can help you get the job you want.

  • Create Your Development Plan

Depending on what goal you have in your career, it can be good to draft a career development plan. In the development plan, you can identify how to approach your long-term goals and what obstacles you may have to deal with.

You may need to identify several short-term milestones and what steps you need to take to reach them.

Although goals and plans often change along the way, there is a point to the career planning work itself, as it allows you to reflect on your direction and your possible path choices.

Networking is a form of art and over time it can become a valuable resource for you. By fostering relationships with other people and organizations, you can handle various challenges more efficiently. Your network will mainly be based on your personality, your particular set of skills, and dependability. People will only vouch for you if they can depend on your competence. A strong network can be a huge help when you want to change careers or find new opportunities.

It’s about always being curious about other people. Challenge yourself to find new contacts at social gatherings or in the lunch room at work. You never know who might take you on to your next career goal.

Final Thoughts

To achieve your career goals, you must develop a plan, and think about your strengths and weaknesses, but also your unique skill set, interests, and ambitions. If you wish to explore new options, make sure to always be upfront with your current employers and legally kick off the process for a career change. Whatever you do, make sure to think realistically about your priorities and understand what will make you truly happy.

For more articles, visit OD Blog.

By Bello

Ismail Bello is a content creator and enthusiast who is passionate about youth development.