In this blog series, our mbaMission Career Coaches offer invaluable advice and industry-related news to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. To schedule a free half-hour consultation with one of our mbaMission Career Coaches, click here.
Often at the start of a new year, we think ahead and wonder, “Am I on the right career path?” or “What should I be doing with my life?” Whether you are applying to business school or applying to internships while in business school—or if you are contemplating the next step in your career—you need to be able to articulate where you want to go, what you want to do, and why.
Making time to think critically about where you want to be in your work life is worthwhile. The questions you need to answer are “big ones” like the following:
- Where do I want to be in my work life in five years (seniority, compensation, location, etc.)?
- In what kind of environment do I want to work?
- With whom do I want to work? For what type of person do I want to work?
- What daily activities do I want to be doing? What skills do I want to develop or refine?
- What kind of impact do I want to have? What kind of recognition do I want to get and from whom?
To begin answering these questions and creating your list of career goals, here are a few suggested action items:
- Start by thinking without constraints. What do you want? What drives your satisfaction (work content, company culture, compensation, work/life balance, etc.)? Do not worry (yet!) about the reality of getting that type of job.
- Reflect on your career to date. For each previous role (title), write down the following: why you took the role, what you liked most about it, what you liked least about it, what you learned from the experience, and why you left. Jot down any themes from this exercise.
- Review your resume. For each bullet (both work and non-work related), write down the following: what you did and did not like about that experience/task, and which experiences gave you the most satisfaction and why.
- Read our mbaMission Career Primers, review potential job descriptions, and talk with friends and former colleagues about their jobs. What excites you or intrigues you from what you learned?
- Synthesize your findings into a prioritized list of six to eight desired components in your next job.
- Begin to investigate which industries/functions would fulfill these ideal components. Learn about the qualifications (e.g., skills, experiences, and attributes) necessary for those roles.
Have you been admitted to business school and want to get a head start on defining your career goals? Do you need help preparing for job interviews or learning how to effectively network with your target employers? Or maybe you want to be a top performer in your current role but are unsure how to maximize your potential. Let an mbaMission Career Coach help via a free 30-minute consultation!