Career Mapping: Identify Your Path
The job search provides an opportunity for professional introspection. However, in the midst of job hunting, it can be easy for your career goals to become muddled in the midst of the variety of career paths out there.
Whether you’re a web designer tempted by readily-available web development jobs (but who really wants to work for a top tech organization), or an experienced marketer who seems to only be finding sales rep opportunities, it may seem like the best step forward is to take the first job offered to you.
A crucial aspect of a successful job search is keeping space open—both mentally and in the real world—for when your dream job becomes available.
Career mapping can help current students, recent graduates, and even seasoned professionals gain clarity and plan the next-steps in identifying, finding, and landing their dream job.
What is career mapping?
Career mapping is a goal-setting technique or guideline that can be used by individuals and major tech and IT firms alike to create a path of advancement throughout their professional lifetime.
Personality tests like the Myers-Briggs tests have previously been utilized by both job seekers and organizations to help discover how personality traits intersect with positions best suited to a person’s unique capabilities. Over the years, though, these psychological tests have been rejected by the scientific community for their unreliability. And here’s where career mapping steps in.
As traditional career paths become less linear, more and more people are seeking insightful tools that will help guide their professional journey, even while the average person holding 5-7 different careers throughout their working life.
If you’re interested in maintaining your motivation and developing a clear path forward, use the following step-by-step outline to get started on creating your career map today.
Starting your career map
1. Make a list of your current skills and professional experience. Where are you professionally, right now? Take stock of your existing skills and relevant experiences to get a sense of where you are and what positions are the right fit for you, right now.
2. Brainstorm your short-term and long-term career goals. If you don’t know where you want to go, getting there is difficult. Start your career mapping practice by listing your short-term (0-12 months) and long-term (1-5 year) career goals.
For example, a short-term goal may be to shift your focus to finding a new position at your dream company, while a long-term goal may be to attain a position in which you’re managing a team of your own.
3. Make links between your current skills, experiences, and goals. Think of this step as a sort of connect-the-dots activity. Which of your current skills will help you at every level of your professional journey? What career experience is important to highlight as you seek new opportunities along your career map?
4. Consider how to scale your experience to match your short-term and long-term goals. Break down your ideal career path into manageable, small steps to help you reach both your short-term and long-term goals. By keeping your plan clear, concise, and setting reasonable goals, you’ll be able to visualize your path to success with an attainable strategy moving forward.
A career map may be a key tool throughout your professional life, but keep in mind that flexibility throughout your career journey is key. Life happens, and sacrificing your personal wellbeing for a potential career move may not be the right fit for you.
If a professional shift is in the cards for you, or if you’re a recent grad starting from square one, our team at nexplay is ready to help you get your foot in the door of some of the top tech organizations in the world. Check out our network and start visualizing where you could work today and if you’d like to get in touch with someone there, let us know and we’ll set it up.