When it comes to your career, planning and preparation is always a better approach than simply crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. Having a clear strategy in place and a plan of action in mind can be a real motivator; helping you achieve your career goals that little bit sooner.

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In order to create a strategy, there are a few things you first need to consider.

What do you actually want?

Whether you are just starting off in your career, are looking for a career move, or simply want to progress within your existing company, a solid understanding of what you actually want is crucial.

It is a good idea to start by considering your strengths and weaknesses. What are you good at? What do you enjoy? This will help you focus your search.

You might also want to consider the type of company you wish to work for. Is working for a large, already established, corporate business with offices all over the world something that you want? Or are you excited by the idea of working for a smaller, start up business that has growth potential?

Also consider the things you are willing to compromise on. Likelihood is, you’re not going to find a career that ticks all of the boxes from the get go.

Drifting into a role that isn’t particularly what you expected isn’t uncommon – it happens to the best of us, that is why it is so important to get down what you actually want on paper and stick to it best you can.

When do you want it?

Goals create pressure and stress; two things that nobody particularly likes. However, goals lead to action, which leads to results – providing you stick to them.

Make sure you incorporate goals into your strategy. Set out what you want to achieve and timeframes for achieving it.

Be sure to revisit your goals along the way. If you’re not reaching them, you need to consider why. Is it something that you are doing? Could you work smarter, more efficiently? Or is it the company that you are working for? Are they able to offer you progression opportunities that you want? (Although, this is something you should always consider before accepting any role!) 

How are you going to get it?

Before making any big decisions you need to make sure that you understand your market. You should have a good understanding of what you need to do to be successful and what you need to do to achieve your goals. After all, this is important knowledge that will ultimately impact your decisions.

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