Taking the time to actually plan out all the steps of your career probably doesn’t sound particularly enticing. After all, who knows what could happen down the road, right? And while some people have a crystal clear picture in their minds of where they hope to be in the future career-wise, most actually arent too sure where they are headed or how they’re going to get there. Enter: career mapping. Never heard of it? Basically, it means putting together a guideline of where you think your career will go in the years to come. Not only do you outline your goals in the near and far future, but you also mark down the steps you’ll need to take to get there—whether your dream is being the CEO of a huge company or creating your own one-woman tech startup.
Ahead, get step-by-step tips straight from career experts on how to create an effective personal career map, plus how to stick with it through life’s inevitable twists and turns. EVALUATE YOUR CURRENT SITUATION
You can’t figure out where you’re going until you know where you are, so the first thing you should do is take stock. “Think of yourself as a project,” recommends Jeanne Patti, a career coach who advises clients on career mapping. “Conduct a discovery of yourself, and think of this as the most important collection of ‘data’ you will have in your career,” she recommends. Take some time to write down what you see as your best skills, traits, passions, and talents. Understand what excites you and makes you feel engaged. According to Patti, this should be your framework for all of the other steps you take to build your career map moving forward. Read more