Career advice – Map your career out


You are accountable for your own success.   As such, it is your responsibility to manage your special talents, traits and capabilities that can open many gates to a flourishing career. You want to do more, become more, and have more, but you´re not really sure how to go about it or where to get career advice. You wonder what your next step is. What you can be doing to elevate your personal and career development.


Many people don’t have  a career investment plan because traditionally, we relied on the company we work in to provide them.   In today’s ever-changing world, however, you can no longer afford to wait for your employers to invest in your professional growth and development.  And with most parents working, it’s hard to have that full time mentor you need.  We are now in the era of do-it-yourself career development.  Ownership of your career is no longer in the hands of companies, but rather in the hands of individual employees.  It’s now a case of knowing yourself and your career ambitions sufficiently enough to identify the wisest career investment path to take.


Managing your career is extremely important, not only because it  encourages you take the necessary steps to make better choices about your career, but it will put you in the driving seat to take responsibility and be accountable for it rather than relying on someone else to manage it. Planning out your career takes time and requires strategic thought and planning. It’s a bit like buying stock, you need to know the risks, the commitment, and the length of time it takes before you can expect to see a return on investment.


So where do you begin? First we need to know ourselves extremely well. We covered this in great detail over a few weeks. If you missed out catch it here. Knowing yourself requires you to understand your passion and what inspires you. Answering questions like Where you are right now in your career? How happy are you? What drives you? Where do you want to be? And it requires a lot of hard truths on your true present capabilities.    What do you believe are the most important areas for your career investment? What areas are you currently focusing on now? What are the skills gaps or competencies you need to close to get you to the next level.?


To build your future career vision you must look at past and present roles and what your vision is for the future.


Career advice development


Knowing our values, having a vision, mission and plan for our career, empowers us to be able to manage it, no matter what comes our way.  This is crucial for us to be and remain engaged, motivated and empowered.  It’s the difference between being in that driver’s seat rather than in the passenger’s seat.  Ask yourself the following:



Present Position


  • What is your current position?
  • What do you like about your current job? (Make a top 5 list)
  • What do you dislike about your current position? (Make a top 3 list)
  • What tasks or projects do you like most? What tasks do you dislike?
  • What do you not want to be doing in your next position?
  • What kind of work gives you meaning and purpose? What drives you?
  • What are your current strengths?
  • What are you biggest achievements so far in your career?
  • What will be important to you in your next position? (Top 5)




Future Position


  • What kind of opportunities interest and excite you?
  • What do you want to achieve professionally?
  • What job function/area are you most interested in pursuing right now?
  • Does this future aspiration line up  with the priorities of the business?
  • What challenges might you experience in pursuit of your ambition?
  • What responsibilities or tasks you can take on right now that can help push your career to the next level?
  • What new skills, competencies and experiences do you need to achieve your career goals?



Map it out



Mapping out your career plan is a bit like climbing  Mount Everest. You need to know specific routes, obstacles that may hurt you along the way, hidden crevices, and the fitness levels required to help get you to the top. And to manage any pitfalls along the way you need to have a focused plan. And the best way to make a focused plan is by writing it down.


Using Mind Maps provides a more effective approach to maximizing your potential. Whether you want to solve a problem, explore new ways of working, increase your productivity, develop your presentations or enhance your range of opportunities try using mind maps.

Mind mapping, may seem superficial, but once mastered it becomes a powerful tool for managing information overload. Mind mapping is simply a diagram used to visually represent or outline information. It is a powerful graphic technique you can use to translate what’s on your mind into a visual picture. They look like sprawling network diagrams that radiate out from a central bubble or point which normally is the headline of the general topic, Since mind mapping works like the brain, it allows you to organize and understand information faster and better.

There’s are many apps available to view, edit, and create new maps even when you’re away from your computer.



Getting started


So how do you get started with your career mind map. Grab a pen and paper and begin by putting your  career goal in the middle of the page.  Try not to worry about getting it completely right. This task can take a number of weeks to complete so you can edit/change it as you work on it, but it’s important that you write down your specific goal. “To Get a Better Job” isn’t specific enough. “Become a Regional Director of Operations” is better. This is the big, long-term goal for the next 2-3 years. This is what you are going to accomplish with your career. Being realistic is especially important here.




Branch out from your career goals


Think about what you want to achieve in your career. Study the trends that are shaping your industry and niche. Listen to what the experts are saying. Know your strengths, weaknesses and which skills are marketable?. Map a path to get to where you want to go in your career, knowing that you will have to make changes as the work environment changes. Based on your research what skills do you have to acquire to become more valuable to yourself and future employers? Acquire those skills and make every day learning a part of your day.

Surrounding your main goal, write these 15 points. They don’t have to be in any particular order. Leave room to expand on them in the next step.


  • Where are at right now (as of today)?
  • What am I currently good at? (ASK) Abilities, Skills, Knowledge
  • What is your past work experience roles.?
  • What locations/countries/cultures have you gained experience in?
  • Top achievements you have accomplished so far?
  • What new skills, competencies and experience you need to achieve your career goals?
  • What are your future interests?
  • Is Management an option or interest?
  • What kind of opportunities interest and excite you?
  • What do you want to achieve professionally?
  • What specific job are you most interested in pursuing now?
  • What are you next steps to promotion (training, KPIs, skills, projects)
  • Where do your aspirations line up with the priorities of the business?
  • Does your values line up with that of the business you are working with?
  • What responsibilities or project could you take on now that could help you push ahead with your career goals?



You mind map could look like something similar to below?


career advice map it out



where to find career advice





Keep in mind you are the driver of your career and only you can determine what success looks like for you.  Your vision should the ideal vision for you.   Be sure to reach out to other to achieve these goals and always be your authentic best self.



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