1. Reach for your dreams
Your path to career success starts with your dreams, desires and talents. What do you dream about? What do you hope to be? What do you want to happen? Staying connected to your vision of your future is at the core of all great career advances.
Visualize yourself in your ideal job. See yourself achieving. Take note of what you're doing, who you're with and where you're located. Creating a mental picture helps make the future more clear. Plus, seeing yourself already accomplishing your dream decreases fear and conditions your brain to believe that attaining the goal is possible. It takes confidence to pursue your career aspirations. Chances are you won't be able to move forward unless you believe you can.
2. Put your plans in writing
Write down clear, specific goals for yourself — and stick to them. Writing down your desires will help you to focus consistently on your career ambitions. Also write down any obstacles that you think are standing in your way.
Once you have identified your challenges, you can work to overcome them. You can also make a list of new skills you'll need to succeed and people you can ask for help. Most importantly, make a note of one thing you can do today to begin moving towards your goal.
3. Be true to yourself
Remain in touch with who you are and your personal definition of success. While there are symbolic measures of success – such as wealth or fame – figure out what the measures are that you will use to determine your success.
Being clear on what success looks like can help you get in the habit of saying 'no' to anything that will divert you from your dreams and desires. Saying 'no' can help you to take control of your career and reach your goals.
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4. Schedule time to reflect and readjust
Plan time to monitor your progress on a regular basis. Evaluate what else you can do to move yourself towards your goals or improve your career. The answer may be to call someone for support or revise your original plan to reflect new or changing priorities. It could be a number of things. The key is to commit to making time to review, adjust and take action on your career goals.
5. Get connected
People who are successful in their careers do not operate in a vacuum. Instead, they have constructed their personal and professional lives to be around people who help them succeed. So get connected to the support you need to achieve your goals and share your vision with others. Look to your social contacts, former bosses, past and present colleagues and friends. Attend strategic events where you can communicate your desires, aims and goals to others. You'll be building a network of supportive individuals who know what you're about and where you're headed.
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Crystal Campbell, BJ, ACPC, is a certified career and leadership coach who operates c2 coaching and consulting. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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