Here we are at the start of a brand new year. Most people will take this opportunity to set new personal goals and start career mapping and planning. It’s dominating the media and news this week.  So, it’s no surprise that a high percentage of people will be on the jobs market.

It’s the usual resolutions at this time of year: Lose weight, get fit and healthy, give up smoking, alcohol, sugar, or look for a new job. Every January it’s the same old resolutions and most will fall by the wayside by February, if not the second week of January!

We talked about the importance of Self-Reflection in December’s blog and it’s now the time to map out your plan of action. If you haven’t yet taken the time to plan your next career move, you may well miss out on the peak of activity at this time of year.

Are you a believer?

Before you can start career mapping do you believe you can be successful? This is an extremely important question but rarely considered consciously.

Our beliefs support our goals or our limiting beliefs hold us back.
We are not born with our beliefs – they develop over time from five main sources. A belief involves a thought about something, validating, affirming and then accepting the initial thought.

We create our own inner map from the five sources:
  1. Environment: newspapers, television, media
  2. Creative Thinking: the brain cannot differentiate between reality externally – real life and internally – vivid imagination
  3. Past experiences: growing up, outcomes, results, experimentation
  4. Education: School, College, University, Self Learning & Development
  5. Events in Life: results you get from doing things
Our perception of reality heavily influences our beliefs and you have many beliefs about the following:
  • Yourself (skills, values, dignity)
  • Other people (what makes them tick, what they want, how to relate to them)
  • Work, play, recreation, hobbies, and volunteering.
  • Global world beliefs (politics, education, crime, police, the justice system, other countries, wars, journalism, and environment)
  • You also have beliefs about a thousand different concepts (time, history, the past, the future, causation, personality, emotions and destiny)

Career Mapping Process

Career mapping involves reviewing several different aspects relating to what you WANT and what you OFFER: Knowledge, skills, experiences, behavioural and technical competencies, functional skills, personal qualities, aspirations and interests, values and beliefs, the external jobs market, sector trends etc.

Start with a simple but highly effective tool – SWOT Analysis & Resources. SWOT is an acronym, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Work through the questions on the download and then review the resources you have and need to move forward.

What are your career values?

Take some time to assess what’s really important to you and your attitude to work. There are no right or wrong answers to the following questions. Do you live to work or work to live? Is a job just a means to earn money to pay the bills? Do you want to live a purposeful life? What are you passionate about? What drives most of your decisions? Is it important to be successful? Recognised? Rewarded?

Our values shape our direction and decisions:
  • Career Orientated
  • Ambitious
  • Confident
  • Sociable
  • Introverted
  • Extroverted
  • Analytical
  • Strategic
  • Operational
  • Autonomous
  • Self-Motivated and many more….

Factor in your own lifestyle preferences, family and friends. Whenever you map out a plan for your work or business it’s really important to consider your life holistically.

Life happens when you’re making plans. Stuff will happen on the journey from A to B and it’s essential you add some flexibility.

  • Family, friends, social network
  • Hobbies, interests and sports
  • Religion, beliefs and cultural aspects
  • Personal development, education and training

It’s also important to compromise. So, considering the important factors in your life at present what are you willing to compromise short, medium or long-term in order to get to where you want to be in the future.

For example, if you need to study part-time to increase your chances of promotion or being hired in a new sector, would you be willing to give up a couple of evenings or weekends to read and work on assignments? Would you be willing to give up holidays or weekends away to save money?

Review your options

Once you have a clear or clearer idea of what you want and offer, look at all the options and opportunities in the market to meet your requirements.

  • Full or part-time
  • Permanent or Fix Term Contract
  • Self-Employment or Business owner
  • Freelance
  • Franchise
  • Sector or industry

It’s always worth spending a little more quality time at the beginning to plan, research and review what you want, offer and all the available options to reach your goal.

Good luck!