Just like using ingredients in a certain order to make a recipe work and delicious, you need to create your stepping stone path to make your legacy come true.
Stepping stones are actions or jobs used to gain skills to obtain a higher skilled career for higher pay. This is the person who is striving for more, in a non-challenging position, and who knows deep down in their heart they can do more with their life then what they are doing right now.
A person can be on a stepping stone for a month or even several years. There may be 3 stones or 20. Due to the cards life has thrown at you, your stepping stones may be difficult to jump on and will change as life events happen.
So wherever you are and whatever position you are in, below are 8 tips to help with your advancement in your career and journey to more challenging, meaningful things.
1. Choose a career you are wanting. What do you truly want? What will satisfy your needs? What are you passionate about? What are you good at? How much income will make you content?
2. Realize and understand what actions and jobs, aka stepping stones, are needed to reach your dream career. If you want to be a president at a financial firm, stepping stone jobs would typically be, salesperson, manager, district manager, regional manager, vice president, and then president with a degree as the cherry on top. Figure out how many stones you need and each stone’s requirement.
a. If you are seeking a position inside your current company, speak to your boss and ask them how they can help you prepare for future entry into that particular position. If they are not a suppressor, they will give you a clear path to follow. If there are ways you can cross train or work on side projects, do them as long as it doesn’t take away from your regular work performance.
b. Speak to the person in the position you want and tell them you love what they do and you want to learn from them. Interview them on what path they took, who knows, they may end up mentoring you. People will talk about themselves as long as you are not interfering with their responsibilities. Everyone puts their pants on the same way and usually they had to work up the ladder themselves. Don’t be scared to approach them.
3. Figure out what education or skill sets you need and start working on it. It may be as easy as getting a specific certification or it may take years to earn a particular degree. Either way, start on it.
4. Make a list of the companies who have positions available on your stepping stone path and conduct research on the stability of those positions, what education and skill sets are needed, and employee reviews on indeed.com, glassdoor.com, and payscale.com. The more you can prepare, the better you will be able to strategize.
5. Apply and accept jobs on your stepping stone path. If a position 6 stones away from your dream job is available, have some humility and take it even though it's not your dream job. Put in your time, show your worth, and you will see advancement closer to your dream job.
6. Don’t apply and accept jobs not on your stepping stone path. Whether it may be a situation of pay or unpredicted circumstances, working in, “dead-end jobs,” will not get you closer to your dream job. As long as you can pay your bills, it is better to work in one of your stepping stone jobs for lower pay because you will gain skill sets needed for your dream career, which makes it then…priceless.
7. Network at community business meetings and let them know what type of position you are seeking and pick people's brains for advice, figuratively speaking of course. Networking opens you up to know about activities and events in the community that could get you closer to your dream job. Don’t be scared to go to them. Become a great networker.
8. Document your journey. Document the skills you obtained throughout your journey and add them to your resume. Write a timeline of your plan of action steps and stick to it. Obtaining your dream job may be a long tough road, keeping track of your accomplishments and constantly reassessing your strategies will be important tools for your success.
These are just some of the basic tips and these strategies can be dense in subject matter, if you need more assistance in career planning and strategizing goals, please contact us or attend one of our community trainings, we are here to help.
Till next time,