Hands up if you spend more time planning your holidays than your career?
Your career is far more important than your next holiday in the sun or skiing break. So treat your career in the same methodical way you do planning holidays. The more planning and preparation you do, the more you are going to benefit.
Follow these simple steps to start getting your career on track:
- Choose a destination. At 21 Surfer’s Paradise or Bali rules. At 31 with two pre-schoolers in tow the childcare at Fiji resorts might be more your thing. Likewise with your career you need to plan your destination. “We are talking about your career, not a job,” says John Vilianiotis principal consultant psychologist Chandler Macleod. “When you think about a holiday you don’t just think about the little resort on the coast. It’s the same with a career. Don’t restrict yourself in your choices. Opportunities abound.” Choosing a destination requires an understanding of what you are interested in, motivated by and value in a career and who you are, says Vilianiotis.
- Research the options. If you’re going on holiday you need to research airfares, accommodation, excursions and more. Likewise is the job you’re going for an appropriate fit for your career? “Don’t just look at the next job,” says Dave Storey, regional director, at Michael Page. “Look at roles two and three within the organisation. You should be forecasting what the job is going to provide in terms of skillsets and learning to further your career.”
- Estimate the cost of your holiday. The money is important whether it’s a holiday or a job. Ask yourself how much you need to earn now and in the future. Vilianiotis says: “(Jobseekers) need to do a longer term projection about what their financial situation will look like. You need to know what you’ll be earning in seven to 10 years.” Look at your career holistically not just the salary package on offer. Also take a look at salary surveys to find out what different jobs and industries pay.
- Beautify yourself. The girls will often have a wax and get beauty treatments before going on holiday. The boys at least get some new clothes, shave and maybe have a haircut before jumping on a plane. Having a successful career requires attention to your grooming and personal presentation as well.
- Pay attention to the details. Is your passport up-to-date, have you got insurance, did you pack all the necessary items such as medicine? It’s the same with your CV, your references, and other supporting data. Have it all to hand and ready.
- Exchange your money. Do you get a pre-paid travel card, use your Visa debit, or take cash when you go on holiday? Weighing up your options between job offers can be equally important, but don’t just focus on the cash in hand. “It is so important to look at the details of a job, not just the responsibility,” says Storey. “Look at the reporting lines, and the (company) culture and where the next step in that organisation might be.” The right choice can take you a long way in your career.