As each financial year comes to an end, many professionals begin to reassess their career goals and aspirations, and make plans to take their career to the next level.
There are many ways to up the vocational ante and work towards your professional objectives, but it can sometimes be hard to know exactly which strategy best aligns with your personality.
Consider the four career-progression personality types below, and see which resonates with you. Your spirit animal may be your key to success this year.
The Grasshopper prefers the personal touch, gleaning pearls of wisdom one-on-one from a teacher they respect. If you enjoy building a connection with someone while learning from their experience, having a mentor may be the logical next step in furthering your career.
There are many ways you can find a mentor. It may be someone you already work with, or it may be a respected professional in your industry who you can connect with in person or online. Take note of which thought leaders most inspire you, and don’t be afraid to reach out to them with questions.
Most people will be flattered you admire the work they’re doing, and many will be more than happy to share their advice. If you’re looking to connect with a known thought leader online, keep your communication friendly and casual, rather than expressing outright your desire to be mentored.
If you’d like to be mentored by someone in your own workplace, a more formal mentoring arrangement can ensure you get the most out of the relationship, and can be considered part of your professional development with the company.
The Social Butterfly
The Social Butterfly thrives on group energy and engagement, and enjoys drawing from a wide network of friends, colleagues and advisors to build upon their existing knowledge and opportunities. For those who love meeting new and interesting people, a focus on goal-driven networking can be an excellent strategy for expanding your career prospects.
Networking is more than handing out business cards to everyone you meet in the hope that something will stick. Effective networking is about building relationships that are mutually beneficial – so focus on quality rather than quantity. Be discerning about who you approach, with an aim to introduce yourself to a few key people, as opposed to business-card-bombing dozens of contacts.
Keep an eye out for industry events in your city, and events within your company. You can also network online – just be sure to personalise all contact, so you don’t come across as spam (a major turn-off to seasoned networkers).
The Plan-Savvy Squirrel
The Plan-Savvy Squirrel is in a perpetual state of goal setting, actioning and accomplishment – and loves it. If you enjoy working autonomously, then devising your own professional growth plan and keeping yourself accountable could be the best strategy.
Consider where you are right now in your career, and then look ahead to where you want to be within the next one, two, or five years. Setting goals is fantastic, but to be effective in moving your career forward, make sure they are actionable, relevant, and have a deadline.
It’s crucial when setting your career goals to honestly assess your current skills, and to then make an achievable plan to fill the gaps.
The Learned Lion
Courageous and self-assured, the Learned Lion isn’t afraid of putting their aspirations first and making significant changes to get what they want. If your road to career greatness means a substantial upskill, then obtaining a new qualification will be a key element for the year ahead.
Are you looking to progress further within your current industry, or make a big change and pursue your dream career? A recognised qualification (and the invaluable knowledge that comes with it) will really help you ‘up’ your professional game.
If you have the flexibility and resources to do so, consider taking an educational sabbatical to focus on your bachelor degree or diploma. Alternatively, there are numerous quality online educational options offering excellent accessibility and flexibility, to allow you to study and work simultaneously, at your own pace.