What is Your Next Career Move?

You own your career. Nobody else owns it. Not your manager, not your husband, not your coworker, not your parent. You own your path to success.

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Career is one of the top topics I write about on this blog. I want financial independence but I need cash to get there. My career is how I generate income and fund my expenses. My husband contributes to this pot and we build our net worth growth together.

When I joined my company, I was so excited. I was just starting out and I really did not know what I wanted to do in the next couple of years. I mentally gave myself a deadline of two years. No, it was not in writing, but in my head, I set up a timeline on how long it was going to take me to judge the company, industry, profession, etc.

I have been progressing and maturing in my current role, but I know as soon as I get the promotion I’m working towards, there will be no further growth left. So why am I even working towards a promotion on my team? I think it will give me credibility that I have shown results and seen a benefit.

I finally called up a trusted outside mentor and asked him for guidance on my next move. This move will not come tomorrow. But I want to be ready for when I make the move in 1 to 1.5 years from now. We’re going to meet in a couple of weeks and talk about what I want and how I get there.

I’m hopeful. I understand there will be no further growth within my company, so it’s hard for me to remain motivated and positive. I don’t want to do everything for my company. At this point it’s a paycheck and a means to an end. A promotion will be sweet, but I don’t feel the passion I typically feel.

How do you determine your next career move?

-          Evaluate your progress in your current role? Is their growth opportunity?

-          Where do you see yourself in 2, 3, 4 years? Do you see yourself in your current role?

-          Identify the role you want to move into. Where do you think you can grow the most and utilize your talent?

-          Establish steps to get to get there. Network with people in the roles you want. Start reviewing your resume and figure out how to make it stand out.

-          What else do you need on your resume to make it stand out to the hiring manager?

-          Train yourself for the questions you will be asked.

-          Network to meet people in the role, industry, or company you want to land at.

Remember, talent is not enough. You have to work hard, be talented, and network to get to the next step.

Do you have advice for someone who wants to grow their career? Please give your input in the comments section.

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22 comments

  • In non-profit fundraising where I work, staffs are often small. As such, unless a person leaves or there is a major change at the non-profit (a new capital campaign or major jump in donations), there is no room for growth. As such, it’s normal procedure to apply to new jobs after 2-3 years in order to get an actual promotion. Some people stay longer, possibly take on more roles, but in my limited experience, I have yet to work with a supervisor who is open to a significant pay jump and change of title. My bosses are nice people but they like to keep costs down, lol!

    I’ve had three different jobs in this field and I’m probably going to look for a new job in a year or so. If there’s no chance for a promotion after a certain point of time, I’m of the belief that it’s time to start looking again.
    Tara @ Streets Ahead Living recently posted…$500 For a Dress Likely Made in a Sweatshop?My Profile

  • Man that is the hot question in my life right now. I’m so over video editing and even kind of living the roller coaster life as a freelancer. It’s good you are constantly evaluating where you are at and where you want to go with your career. Too many people get complacent and get too comfortable, but feel like they are in dead end jobs or “stuck.”
    Budget and the Beach recently posted…The Cost of Living in ParadiseMy Profile

  • I have been thinking a lot about this lately. My career is really important to me but I don’t know where I am going with it right now. I used to be so clear.. I need to get that clarity back.
    Daisy @ Add Vodka recently posted…Alcohol at Weddings: Open Bars, Cash Bars, and Limited MenusMy Profile

  • Keep going and making progress! Get a solid income base at your regular job, build some capital, and start working on parallel income streams. Stocks, rentals, side jobs, etc. all add up quickly.

  • I just started my new job as an Online Community Manager a few weeks ago and I have to tell you that I absolutely LOVE it. I wasn’t sure where my career was going a few years ago so I went back to school to study journalism and I used my blogging experience to get an awesome 9 to 5 in digital marketing. Sometimes I know I feel lost and that sucks. But the “right thing” will just come to you and you’ll know it. That sounds a bit “preachy” but it’s true.

  • Like you mentioned we have similar goals of being financially independent. Along the way I am working at a financial institution, I don’t want to be the CEO, run a hedge fund, or be a branch manager. So my goal is to make as much short and long term as possible, so that means to climb the ladder along the way. My dream job is to own a sports team and I am know where near that goal and my current career is not going to take me there. I have a 3 year and a 7 year goal, which I believe is bigger than any position or job, but whatever I do along the way is going to get me there. I don’t see myself in a 9-5 for any longer than I need to.

    It’s tough to really take a minute and find out what is most important to you.
    Steven recently posted…Fitness Goals-100 Days at a TimeMy Profile

  • I have been thinking a lot about my next move and am getting pretty clear about the kind of role I’d like to seek out next. I also called up an old colleague/tutor and had coffee with him last week and had a good chat, though things have changed a lot since he started out. I find in my field it’s more helpful to talk to people on my level as they are more likely to understand, to be be honest.

    I read a great post this week (linked to in my link love) about crafting your career narrative. I think you always need to have the next step in mind and be working towards it. Keeping track of your accomplishments (especially if like me you don’t work in a project-driven field).

    I also wrote a post going up on Friday about changing how I perceive myself as a professional. I’m still young but I now have some solid experience, I’m not always the most junior person around and I need to have confidence in myself and my value rather than always thinking I need to stay quiet and listen.
    NZ Muse recently posted…Women’s Money Week: Kids. Who’d have ‘em?My Profile

  • I work in a large company, but at a small regional branch. Opportunities are there, but few and far between. I’ve been moving up somewhat quickly, but really each move has been a stepping stone to the position I hope to obtain this year. But like you, once I attain that position, there isn’t much room for growth, at least not within a decade or so. The pay increase will definitely be worth it, but eventually I want to escape the grind. I’ve never been one for plotting out a career, and so career moves aren’t something I’ve focused much on. I’m more of a go with the flow kind of guy, and while it works for me, I should give it as much attention as I do finances.

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  • Being stuck in a career with no passion is disheartening. I feel your pain as well. Almost 6 years with no real upward progression / opportunities in my job. Hopefully your mentor will provide you with some good career advice.

  • I think it’s really smart to talk to a mentor. I’m so much happier now working for myself and having control of my own day but it took forever to get me there!

    • I think it’s great your working for yourself! :) Mentors do help. At minimum, they help you recover your confidence. My mentors truly believe in me and they see something in me. So there must be something that shines right? :)

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