Career Pathing | Setting Goals for Your Career and Benchmarks to Measure Success

If you are ever feeling confused or stuck in your career, it may be the result of not having a well-defined career plan.  “Career Pathing” is a great way to help you chart a course within your organization for career planning and development.  It involves setting goals for your career and benchmarks to measure success by first understanding what knowledge, skills, and experiences are required to progress, defining what opportunities are available, and developing a plan to reach those goals.

Conduct a self-assessment.

The first step in Career Pathing is to take a look in the mirror and figure out what about your interests, skills, values and personality drives you to be successful in your career choice.  Take a few minutes and reflect on the following questions:

  • What fascinates you?
  • What’s most important to you?
  • What is the ideal position you’d like to be in at the peak of your career?
  • Where do you see yourself in 2 years?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Asking yourself these questions will help you set priorities for yourself that are long-term.  As within all aspects of life, you need to clear about your direction.  If you don’t know where you want to go, then you may not be satisfied with where you end up.   Determining where you’d like to be in increment amounts of times helps you stay grounded in reality but have focus on what you’re driving towards.

After determining your end goal, figure out what attracts you about that goal.  Figuring out the purpose in achieving your career goals is as important as the goal itself.  If you establish goals that won’t be fulfilling to you, you’re less likely to put in the effort it takes to achieve them.  In order to be happy, you need a goal that keeps you motivated.

Validate your goals.

Don’t make career goals just for the sake of making them or because you think it’s what someone else wants.  Ask these questions to make sure you’ve set the right goals for yourself:

  • Why do you want to reach these goals?
  • How will you feel when these goals are reached?
  • What will you gain when reaching these goals?
  • What challenges and rewards will you face in working towards these goals?

If you have trouble answering these questions, or feel that the challenges will be greater than the rewards, you may want to reformulate your goals.

Determine the gaps.

Once you’ve determined your goals and assess your strengths and weaknesses, the next step is to figure out what challenges and opportunities lie between.  Compile a few job descriptions similar to your dream job to get specific information about the required skills and experience. Read through the descriptions and compare your current education, skills, and experience to what is required.  Then, identify where the biggest gaps are.  You’ll start to notice themes in which areas you need to focus the most on.  Turn these themes into action items.  For example, if the descriptions all require certain certifications that you don’t have, star researching how to obtain those.

Create an action plan.  

This is the most concrete part of your Career Pathing.  Here you’ll define the steps you will actually take to work towards achieving your goal.  Make a list of everything that needs to be done.  Include steps such as earning educational credits, obtaining new certifications, changing industries, or being promoted to a management position in the industry you’re currently in.   Prioritize steps and put them in the order in which they need to be completed.  Set an ideal timetable for completing each step.  You may not stick to this initial timeline, but it will help set guidelines to hold you accountable and can always be revised later.

Share your plan with a friend, family member or mentor.  They’ll be able to give you any advice they have to help you progress from step to step.  It will also help to have someone else to hold you accountable to carrying out your plan.

Need additional help building and carrying out your career plan in the medical industry? Let the experienced team at BOS Medical help. Whether you’re looking for long- or short-term work, or want to work locally or across the country, we have a variety of nursing jobs and employment opportunities in Athens, GA, Gainesville, GA, and beyond.  Contact us today to take the next step in planning your career.

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