6 Steps for Creating a More Successful Career

iStock_000012508827XSmallAre you feeling bogged down by your career? I’ve recently struggled a little bit with my career. Even though I’m a freelance writer and I love what I do, there are things about my career path that I’ve become a little frustrated with.

Anytime you start feeling like your career is more of a job (and perhaps a dead-end job at that), it’s time to reconsider your path. If you want to kickstart your career, and perhaps improve your chances of career success, here are 6 steps you can take:

1. Honestly Evaluate Where You are Now

Your first step is to figure out where you are right now. Honestly take a look at your life, and what you’re doing, and identify what is bogging you down a bit. Whether you are behind in your goals to have a certain salary or position, or whether you wish you could quit your job and work more on your side hustle, you need to have an honest look in the mirror.

Once you know where you’re at, you can figure out your next step.

2. Decide Where You’d Like to Be

I took a look at my current career path, and realized that there were certain aspects of freelance writing that I didn’t still want to be doing five years from now. Once I identified those items I wanted to phase out of my career, I decided where I’d like to be. What kinds of projects do I want to be doing? What sort of web sites do I want to be associated with?

You take this step in your own career, too. Decide what you want your life to look like next year, 5 years from now, 10 years from now. (Be realistic, though.)

3. List the Things You Need to Do

Next, make a list of things you need to do if you want to achieve your career goals. I know that I need to shift some of my work, maybe dropping some clients, so that I have time to work on the projects that are most interesting to me.

If you want a promotion, find out what additional (if any) education or certification you need to advance. Figure out what skills you need to develop and what actions you need to take in order to boost your career. This will give you an idea of how to proceed to reach your desired career situation.

4. Write Out Your Plan

Once you know what you need to do, it’s time to work out a plan for accomplishing the tasks on your list. What items do you need to most work on? How will you work on those items? Will you need to make extra money, or save extra money, to develop the skills that you need to proceed? Do you need to update your resume?

If you plan to quit your job, you might need to save up an emergency fund to help keep you afloat while you develop your own business. What changes to your spending need to be made in order to save up the necessary money? Once you know the “what”, you can begin working on the “how”. Following this process can help you break your progress down into smaller steps.

5. Get Started

Once you have a plan, now is the time to start. Don’t put it off. Start working on the first step of you plan today. Whether that means setting aside $20 to kickstart your savings efforts, or whether it means enrolling in a certification course to help you gain a needed credential, take that first step right now. Once you get going, it is easier to build up the momentum. Putting it off only increases the inertia that you have to overcome. You’ll have a better chance at success if you get moving immediately.

6. Stay Motivated

Make sure that you take steps to stay motivated throughout your efforts to create a more successful career. Set achievable milestones that can help you recognize your progress. Each of your milestones brings you closer to your goal, and you want to acknowledge that. You can reward yourself with something small, or just take some time to realize that you are on your way to a more successful career.


6 Steps for Creating a More Successful Career — 23 Comments

  1. I did all of these things…and that’s why I quit my job and struck out on my own. I was getting nowhere fast at my old job.

  2. Great list Miranda! These are especially critical if a person is thinking of changing careers. My wife has done that recently and this was basically the path we followed over a two year period for her to accomplish the transition.

    • I like that you point out that it happened over a two-year period. We have to remember that sometimes these transitions take time. This is where the staying motivated comes in!

  3. The only thing I’d add if you’re looking for a new employer is it’s best to start looking while you’re still employed. I see a lot of people make the mistake of job hunting only after they quit their job. If you’re still employed, a lot of times that puts you in the driver’s seat.

  4. Good points! What you described is similar to any goal setting activity. Careers are little more complicated, but that is why you should spend more time thinking about it.

  5. As unhappy as you may be, remember that you can’t drop what you’re doing and move into a new career overnight. Changing careers successfully is a process that takes time. Try to enjoy the journey and stay focus on your career goals!!!

  6. Great easy to follow tips. You can really apply this approach to just about any type of goal.

    I’ve got started already by going back to school to get my MBA. I basically followed the steps you’re outlining here to determine where I want to go with my career.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I appreciate your readership and really enjoy hearing your thoughts on different topics. Thank you for contributing to the discussion.