How to become your own career coach in 6 easy steps

You know that want to continue to progress in your career, but your company is less than willing to help out. 

Professional development is important to you and you want to continue to move forward and advance in a positive way.

But with little out there to help you and spur on your motivation at this unique time, how can you go about forging the future career that you desire?

Well, what about becoming your own career coach? 

Career coaches can help you gain a clear vision of your career goals and offer unbiased and objective feedback, yet they are expensive and it can often be difficult to find someone you truly get on well with and can open up to. 

But what if you can take what they teach and implement it yourself?

Here are six easy steps to help you do just that. 

1. Get to know yourself

What makes you tick in the workplace? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What skills do you need to improve?

Before you start on your journey, you should do an inventory of your skills. This will help you when it comes to putting together a plan as you’ll have a better understanding of the foundation and your starting point.

If you are struggling to identify your key competencies in the workplace, our app iShine can help you do exactly that! 

2. Write down your goals

What is it you want from your future career?

Think about what you want to achieve over the next one, two or five years. Is it that you want gain a managerial position? Is it that you want experience in something completely new so that you can make a shift in your position within the company? 

And remember to make your goals SMART, that is, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely so you are more likely to stick to them. 

Write them down so you can continuously come back to them, update them when they are no longer relevant, or tick them off when you’ve completed them!


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3. Create a short-term plan with KPIs for the next few months

I know, KPIs (key performance indicators) are generally used for companies and not for you, the individual, but they are a great way to assess how you are doing in your goals. 

You can track your progress over time and see whether you are working towards your goals in a timely fashion or are falling behind. 

It might be that you want to complete a short course over the next few months to get you up to speed with an aspect of the business, want to network with people in a different department to find out a bit more about how the company runs, or be the go-to for a specific task.

The most positive aspect about a career coach is having the ability to talk to someone about your career as well as having the accountability to get the goals you’ve set for yourself done. 

But is there someone that can offer you the same opportunity? 

Perhaps there is someone else in the office that also wants to excel in their career. Perhaps you can have a chat with them and ask them what their thoughts are about doing this together?

You can both work through your long-term goals and short-term goals together and continue to meet every month or so to see how you’ve developed and improved.

You’ll be able to bounce ideas off one another and help each other through when the motivation is not there and be there at the end of the line when your day is just not going your way. 

5. Get good feedback

As well as an accountability partner, you can use your yearly or six-monthly reviews to gain feedback on how you’re doing in the workplace. You may be able to incorporate some of your career plan into the review, especially if it will help them as well. You may be able to ask for time or a budget to develop a new skill or be put on a project which helps you learn something new about the business. Perhaps you can mentor a younger employee and gain those leadership skills you are after.

You can also ask for feedback whenever you’ve worked on a project, especially if you’ve worked with new people. If it’s positive, you can even ask that you can add it to your LinkedIn profile which will be helpful when it comes to looking for new work, and if it’s negative it’s a great way to learn where you are going wrong and where you can improve. 

6. Make adjustments where necessary

Life isn’t all about your career. Perhaps your mum’s suddenly become sick and she needs urgent care, perhaps you are moving house and need a few months to get everything in order.

Life has a habit of sneaking up on us and getting in the way, and don’t feel guilty if you don’t complete everything in the timeframe you’ve set for yourself. 

Achieving a goal is all about those baby steps and making adjustments as and when you need to.

Think you’re ready to be your own career coach? There’s no time like the present to get started. 

What are you waiting for?

 Image Credit for the title: Free Unsplash License.


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