In terms of career success strategy, what would you say if asked, “What’s more important, your career or your life?”
I hope you would say, “My life!” After all, you can have more than one career in a lifetime, but only one life.
In the end, it’s somewhat of a trick question. Most of us don’t face an either-or situation in this respect. We can have a career (or two) and still have a reasonable life. At the same time, you might already have discovered one painful fact. Career situations can force you to make tough choices-especially in the COVID-19 and (eventually) post-pandemic world.
First, let’s take a quick look at what “strategy” means and what it can do for you:
When you start to consider how to increase your career success, you might experience doubt because you see multiple choices.
So start by trimming the list of possibilities. Delete those that are clearly beyond reach in a realistic time-span and those that don’t strongly appeal to you. If you aren’t highly motivated to pursue a certain direction, the likelihood of success plummets!
Next, look at the “need vs. want” aspect. Your career success strategy must include ranking results you want to achieve in terms of whether you need them or would just like to have them if you can.
You might have noticed that job postings often contain two lists–the “must have” items and the “wish list.” Why do employers do this? Because they know they might not get it all. They start with essentials and add items to expand their possibilities.
Your strategy can take the same approach, but keep it “real.” Stretch goals that force you to step a bit outside your comfort zone can boost your career growth. However, wildly ambitious goals not grounded in the real world often don’t work out well.
Your next, important step requires looking not only at your own situation and positive points but also at your competitors’. What do they have to offer, and how do you stack up against them? Your strategy needs to take the competitive angle into account.
For example, can you offer value that will help employers increase their success–sales, profits, market-share growth, technology advances, etc.? If so, can you do it better/faster/more cost-effectively than your competition? To make your case, you must know your strategic advantage.
Briefly, you need to plan your moves with a competitive spirit and make them count! Remember, strategic missteps could prove costly to your ongoing career success.
In spite of the challenges from the pandemic and related economic issues, you can still progress in your career and job search. You just need to look at the prospects and and roadblocks with a healthy blend of realism and optimism. In short: First decide where you want to go and what you need to do to “blow away” the competition. Then focus your energy and attention on implementing the right strategy to achieve that. With a well-defined goal and a clear strategy, you can ignore any discarded options and hit your chosen target.