If you’ve ever felt like you lack control of your career, you’re not alone. A lot of professionals wake up one day and wonder, “How did I get here?” Maybe they’ve stayed at a job they don’t enjoy for too long or they feel like they should have more responsibility or have advanced farther. Whatever the reason, it’s never too late to steer your career back onto the right path. If you aren’t completely happy with where you are today, it’s time to take ownership of your engineering career.
Goals Are Your Roadmap
Just as you wouldn’t set out on a road trip without a navigation plan, you can’t hope to achieve success in your career without a clear path. Goals set that path for you. Sit down and think about where you’d like to be in one year, five years and ten years. Next, go back to your one-year goal and break it down even further.
- Identify the steps you need to take to get there.
- Determine whether you need to close any skill gaps or take other career development actions.
- Decide whether you can take that next step with your current employer.
Create a set of chronological milestones, and then break down those milestones into individual steps. This will give you a clear, step-by-step path to follow toward your desired goal.
Hold Yourself Accountable
If you’re like many people, you’ve probably set goals from time to time that never get achieved. It’s human nature to let things fall by the wayside, unless you have someone to hold you accountable. One of the best ways to develop accountability and take ownership of your career is to get a mentor. Mentors can act as a sounding board, they can follow up with you on your milestones and goals, and they can provide you with valuable feedback along the way.
Look for mentors in your existing organization, but if you can’t find someone you admire who is willing to be an active participant in your success, you might have to branch out to your wider network.
Work With a Professional Engineering Recruiter
It’s easy to map out where you want to go, but getting there is another hurdle altogether. You might know you need to find a new job quickly, but uncovering the right opportunities on your own and landing a job can take months – and in some cases, years.
Partnering with a professional engineering recruiter can help you get there faster. A recruiter will help you execute your plan and match you with jobs and projects that align with your career goals. They will also provide you with feedback along the way, so you can improve your interviewing skills and make the right impression, every time.