How To Reverse Engineer Your Career for Future Success
To create the career you’ll love and reach career success faster, reverse engineer your career.
If you’ve ever felt unsure about what you need to be successful in your career it’s probably because you don’t really know which path you want your career to follow, and you’re unclear of how far you want to take your career.
Here are six steps to develop a strategy for your future career success
1. Get clear on what you really want
Get clear on what you really want. What role would you like to be in ultimately? Where would you like to be in five or 10 years? Would you like to be Global Head of Marketing in the medical industry, or are you aspiring to be an HR manager? Or a Chief Information Officer in the financial services industry, IT Project Manager at a large tech company or Operations Director in a company dedicated to sustainability?
2. Conduct your research – find your dream job/s online
Conduct research to find job descriptions for that dream job on job boards such as seek.com.au or monster.com.
- Look on your internal job board if you are currently working in an organisation where you’d like to progress.
- Look for job descriptions within several different industries, and notice the different job requirements associated with similar positions.
3. Analyse the job descriptions
Analyse the information you find in those job descriptions.
- What knowledge is required?
- What skills are listed?
- What experience is necessary?
- How many years of experience is required?
- What is the minimum level of education required?
- Are there any certifications required?
4. Conduct a gap analysis
Conduct a gap analysis. Consider your current skills, experience, qualifications and certifications. Where do you NOT meet the minimum requirements?
- A CFO (Chief Finance Officer) may require a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, Finance, or related field and a professional accounting qualification such as CA or CPA, if you don’t possess that, then that’s a gap.
- Maybe your dream job requires a minimum of 10 years of people management, leading progressively larger groups. If you’ve never been a manager or have only led small teams, then that’s a gap.
5. Come up with a strategy to overcome the gaps
Strategise how to overcome each gap:
- If you don’t meet the minimum education requirements, consider going back to study (full-time or part-time)
- If you don’t have a required certification, research how to become certified.
- If you’re lacking in a specific competency, identify how you prove your potential, volunteer for a special project that can be a stepping-stone to become proficient in that area.
6. Find a mentor or career coach
Find a mentor who is highly successful in the role you want to target, and ask them to review your game plan. Or reach out to a career coach who can guide you. Walk them through where you are today, the job you want (one similar to theirs), your gap analysis and discuss a strategy to overcome the challenges. Ask for their advice and feedback on the following:
- Do they think your plan solid and does it include everything they think you’ll need to be successful in a job like theirs?
- What other jobs would they recommend to gain relevant experience, prior to targeting your dream job?
- Are there any other requirements (knowledge, skills, experience, education) they recommend to be successful in their job?
Reverse engineering your career does not have to be difficult. You certainly don’t need an engineering degree to reverse engineer your career!
Take time to define your career aspirations, conduct research and analysis and be honest about where the gaps are. To hasten your career progression in the direction you desire, overcome those gaps and you will be in a strong position to progress step-by-step in the right direction.
To support you to create the career you desire, check out the Career Success Program