Planning for your future can feel daunting, especially if you are young and just at the beginning. There are so many different pathways to take, and though you can take twists, turns, shortcuts, and bridges to your eventual destination, it pays off to do your research now to get it right later.
Even knowing that you want to be open at the beginning of your career to direct your efforts more effectively by building transferable skills and diversifying your experience.
Planning for your future is all about knowing your options and building the right skills early on, and to do that, you will want to follow the steps outlined in this guide:
Understanding Your Passions
Though passions can change (especially as you learn more about your options and the available opportunities out there in the world), it does not hurt to start here. A person’s passions often tend to be related to each other, anyway, so working towards one passion can help you establish a career in a passion you discover and cultivate along the way.
What You Can Do
To start to create a list of the job roles and their descriptions in the industries related to your passion. If your passion is art, then artist, art director, art curator, conservationist, and so on are all related to your passion.
Simply researching the roles and their job descriptions can bring you inspiration. It is natural to not know all the job roles out there, and researching will open up opportunities and give you great ideas on what you may want to do with your future.
What You Want to Do
Rather than focus too hard on what role you want; focus on the activities and responsibilities you would like to do. Even the working environment can help you keep your overall options open while still preparing you for your dream job.
What Work-Life Works Best for You
Some people truly thrive in fast-paced, intensive positions. Others require more order, others want a good work/life balance. Know what kind of work/life you need to thrive both professionally and personally. This will help direct you to the right employer and role that will provide you the most satisfaction.
Learn the Requirements for Your Dream Job
Now that you have a better idea of what you want to do, and what the job descriptions and requirements are, it is time to build on these skills.
Make a list of the skills that the jobs you have discovered are asking for. Put them into two categories: transferable skills and specialist skills.
Many of the skills you will need in any job are transferable. Administration skills, teamwork skills, leadership skills, writing skills – these can and are necessary for all job roles. Thankfully, they can also be gained in almost every job role, so you can start your career in an office job and then work your way towards a role more creative or technical later.
Specialist skills are more difficult to achieve outside of the job role, but you can still learn them by taking specialist courses in an MBA, or through short courses online. Workshops and events can also give you more knowledge and experience, as will volunteering, internships, or apprenticeships.
As anyone in a top-level executive position can tell you, there is no one way to get a job. Still, knowing the experience that job listings are asking for and the experience that top-level executives have under their belt can give you a good idea of what you need to do to achieve your dream.
Finally, make a list of what topics and insights these candidates will know. You can usually glean this information from a job listing, but it doesn’t hurt to follow a few top industry leaders who have roles you would be happy in to learn what they know and how they got to where they were.
Ways to Gain Experience
It is a good idea to diversify your experience until you enter the right career path. This means more than just getting as many jobs in different roles as possible. It means volunteering in your passion industry, it means starting your own projects, and it means getting to know the right people.
In a Job Role
Ask for horizontal job shadowing opportunities that will allow you to explore your interests in different departments. Ask for new opportunities within your own department. Be on top of any personal projects being handled by your co-workers. There are so many ways you can take advantage of your workplace to boost your experience and your credentials.
Through an MBA
A Master’s in Business is typically done after you have worked for some time. It is particularly helpful for those who are already managers or whose next step on their career ladder is a managerial role.
Securing such a job, however, can be competitive, especially if you are looking for the role from the outside, rather than working your way up.
That is when an MSc in Business truly comes into play. Aston University Online has outlined the top jobs that MSc in Business and Management graduates can apply for, including their salary and job satisfaction. If you were not sure where to go before, this list could help you direct your attention towards a role that pays well and challenges you in the best ways.
Volunteering is an excellent way to get experience in high-demand industries. It will show your passion for that industry, get you involved, and help you meet the right people. When a job role opens up that you can apply for, your volunteer experience in the industry or with the institution itself will help you become a prime candidate.
Start Your Own Project
Do not just wait for opportunities from others. Make your own opportunities. Start projects and work on them yourself. Growing a successful blog in your interest can do more for your career than being a model employee because it showcases your passion, your knowledge, and your leadership. You will also be showcasing how adaptive you are, able to manage a blog, market it, maintain readership, and so on.
Final Tips to Help You Secure Your Dream Job
The final tip to help you secure your dream job is to become a leader. Those with natural leadership traits still need to work on perfecting their skills and approach. You need to be able to bring out the best in others, and you also need to lead the way. Do this by:
Perfecting Your Approach
You cannot secure an executive-level role without being a great leader. Thankfully that MSc in Business and Management will provide you with a lot of what you need to be a great leader in all areas, from management to interpersonal skills.
Even with this foundation, however, you are going to want to work out what kind of leader you are, how you can improve your individual approach, and above all, how you can improve your communication. Practicing public speech, reworking how you explain things, and improving how you write can all help you be clearer and, therefore, more effective both in team and leadership roles.
Grow Your Network in the Industry
You can grow your skills, experience, and knowledge while also building your network by diversifying where you gain these skills. Attend events, workshops, and even conferences and network with the people there. Stay in touch with your alumni, especially graduate alumni, when you obtain a Master’s.
Never Stop Learning
An MBA can solidify all of your efforts and give you the qualification you need to get your foot in the door of a lot of higher-level positions, but that doesn’t mean you should ever stop learning.
Try to make it a habit to always be on top of all the latest reports, trends, and theories in your chosen industry. This information changes all the time and being on top and very knowledgeable about these trends can help you become a top candidate for a job, even if you do not have experience in a similar role.
Planning for your future means understanding yourself. Most people do not happen upon what they are truly passionate about later on in life. Instead, you need to know the skills that are transferable and build great habits that will make you an attractive candidate for any role.
Build these foundations through personal efforts, by solidifying skills with theory by completing an MSc in Business and Management, and with a job, volunteer, and personal project experience. Being a well-rounded professional is going to help you keep your options open until you find that dream job that ticks all your boxes professionally and personally.
Having direction and combining it with a real passion for what you do in all areas of your life is how you will be able to eventually qualify for those executive-level jobs, or, if you have entrepreneurial aspirations, how you will start a business of your own.