Finding Your Next Step

You’ve been in your job for a while.  You’re not ready to leave, but you’re starting to wonder about your next step.  What type of position should you be targeting?  Which organization will be able to offer you opportunities that are consistent with your career goals?  Start this planning now.  You don’t want to wait until you are so fed up with your job that you are willing to accept the first offer that you receive.  Here are some tips to help you determine the next step in your career.  

Browse job advertisements.  Browse through job postings in your industry and see which positions jump out at you.  This approach gives you a good idea of the job requirements and it allows you to see which jobs are in demand.

Talk to people.  Talk to your friends, family, and coworkers to see what they think should be your next step.  Other people are often better able to identify our strengths than we are, and they may be aware of opportunities that you haven’t considered.

Take a course.  Whenever you have the opportunity, it is always a good idea to expand your skill set.  If you have some extra time, find a course that is related to your industry and that interests you.  In addition to the knowledge that you will gain, you will connect with other people working in your industry, and the course may help you to identify future opportunities.

Track other people’s career progression.  A great advantage to Linkedin is that you can find people who currently have your dream job, and you can track their career progression through their work history.  By looking at the career progression of several people who are working in your dream job, you should have some ideas for positions that you can target.   

Join a networking group or professional association.  These groups provide you with an opportunity to connect with people who are working in your field.  They also offer resources and development opportunities that may help you find your career path.  Talk to as many people who work in your field as possible.  They know your industry and will know what steps you need to take to reach your career goals.  In addition, they may be able to refer you to potential employers.

Often when people are happy in their job, they don’t even think about their next step.  This approach is short sighted because there may be small things that you can do today that will allow you to be more successful in the future.  Remember the Chinese Proverb, “The best time to dig the well is when you are not thirsty.”

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