Career mapping is a fun and useful tool to help you plan your career trajectory. It’s a simple guideline that helps you see where your career can go in future years. Not only does your map outline your goals (both short and long term), it also provides the steps to get you there. Use the following tips to start your own personal career map.

1-Consider where you are right now. Take some time to write down what you think are your strongest skills, traits, and talents. Most importantly, think about those skills and abilities you most enjoy using both on the job and personally. What do you feel best at and love doing? Write it all down. This part of mapping ensures you are using the talents you enjoy, not just going through the motions.

2-Identify the goals that are most important to you. Your career map is all about you and created by you. It can be as flexible as you want and it is on your timetable. You may have a goal of owning your own company by 35 so your map will be more long-term and outline the steps needed to get you there. Or, you may want to advance in your current job and your map may be shorter with steps to help you develop in place. There are many ways to create your map and, unlike company performance goals, these are completely up to you.

3-Make your timeline achievable and meaningful. It’s great to have big goals but give yourself the best chance of success by creating a realistic plan and timeline. Trying to do too many things at once may not fit into your life right now. Or meeting a career goal that society or culture says is important, but you don’t, means you’ll create a map but probably won’t use it. Your milestones should be achievable and reflect what success means to you.

Start working on your career map using these tips. Next week, we’ll have with another three to help you add information and complete your map. Stay tuned.

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