5 Tips for Planning Your Next Career Step

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A career can be an incredible, lifelong journey – one that grows and evolves with your changing needs as a person. Even if you love your current job, there’s a good chance you’ll eventually find yourself searching something new. Taking the next step in your career can be a powerful way to seek out better financial security, improved benefits, new challenges, and more. However, knowing where to go with your professional life can often be a complex process. Here are a few tips for planning the next step in your career you can use if you’re not sure how or where to begin. 

Concentrated Woman Making Plan On Sticky Notes.

Consider Your Goals

First, ask yourself what you’d like to accomplish in the long-term. As you think about advancing your career as yourself, what does your dream job look like, even if you know you can’t accomplish getting it right now? If you want to be the manager in a software company, for instance, it makes sense to start looking for entry-level jobs to do with software, then gradually work your way up the ranks, getting more experience with leadership opportunities as you go. 

Know Your Skills

Planning the next stage in your career will often mean knowing your skills and what you can reasonably accomplish. Do you have a specific degree you can use to improve your chances of a high-paying job in a specific industry? Do you have years of experience in a specific space, or a talent that’s hard to find? Knowing your skills will help to push you in the right direction, and ensure you search for a job you’re going to be well-suited to. 

Imagine Your Perfect Day

If you’re not sure what the next ideal job for you might be, ask yourself what a perfect day would look like at work. What kind of tasks would you be doing on a regular basis, and what sort of things would you most like to avoid? Are there any aspects of your current job you’d like to take with you as you consider your new career, such as a flexible working structure or good company culture? Imagining what a good day at work looks like for you will help you to focus your job planning strategy on finding a career that’s going to make you happy. 

Take Practical Steps

Most of the time, taking a new step in your career will mean investing in yourself to some degree. You may need to take additional courses, expand your education, or just buy a new car so you’re capable of travelling for work. Looking for ways to lower your monthly expenses so you can afford to spend more money on your future is crucial. A good way to cut down your monthly costs is to look into reducing the expenses associated with older loans. A student loan refinance will allow you to pay less on the interest for your previous loans, so you can focus on your future.

Be Flexible

Finally, while it’s good to have a clear view of what you want your future to look like right now, it’s also worth remembering your goals as a professional can easily change with time. Making the time to come back to your career plan and update it as often as you need to, could be crucial.

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