One question that is often asked during interviews or career discussions… Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years? what’s your ideal next job? Most common answers are, “Want to be doing challenging work” or “I want to be in management/become a leader”. As you can clearly see, these are generic answers that do not offer any clarity or help drive career decisions. Its not very clear for most, what should their next career step be. Getting this right, can put you on most optimal path that maximize growth and minimize patches of low motivation & engagement. Each one of us has certain motive that drives us in our careers. Its passion for some, obsession of learning for some and plain, simple money for others. Irrespective of the motive, below are three yardsticks that you can use to identify and follow a path of clarity. Role with Larger Impact: Your next role needs to have larger impact on people, processes of your company. Irrespective of your career discipline, look for impacting more employees, customers or larger budgets. If you are a techie, innovation you do impacts only a specific product currently, in your next move, you might want to extend the impact to entire product line or across the business unit, impacting much larger code base and there by possibly customers in more geographies and creating larger revenue growth for the company. Larger Scope: It has to be expanded scope compared to current work. Whether your are in marketing or technology, next move has to be of larger landscape, teaching you bigger things, making you more of what you currently are. Consider you are people manager looking for next gig, look for roles that give you opportunity to make independent decisions, create your own processes and manage budgets. It should make you do things that you haven’t done before. Remember, decision making comes with responsibility, but if you are authorized to make decisions, you have been trusted and are on path of growth, anyway. In line with your Apex career dream: Few want to be CTO, CFO at one point in their careers, while some want to just make enough money to retire early and use their time to experience life or pursue their hobbies. Next step you take, in someway, should get you one step closer to where you want get to, in longer term. If your goal is to become head of HR for a large company, but multiple roles in the past moved you side wise but no where closer to this goal, its clearly time for course correction. Those roles might have paid you better, or gave you better work-life balance, however, they wont get you want you want with your career eventually, that is in fact something of important to realize early enough. Bottom line is, job wouldn’t feel as exciting in larger scheme of things, if it doesn’t give feeling of making progress, in your own terms. “If you are not in the process of becoming the person you want to be, you are automatically engaged in becoming the person you don’t want to be” Dale Carnegie Make wise choices, be more of what you want to be! Good luck!
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