Goalsetting is a useful tool to guide your career in any industry, especially in libraries. Read on for tools to help in setting goals and developing your career plan for future growth. With work- place cultures changing due to COVID, realigning your goals now might be right for you.
A standard gap analysis determines your current status, and where you’d like to end up. The gap or what’s missing is in the middle. Does this gap need to be filled with education, another job, increased salary, or a new geographic asset? Only you can determine what is the most important factor and how to obtain your goal. Having your plan benchmarked with SMART goals and establishing a plan to close gaps will get you there. Smaller goals should build upon one another to fill the gaps and ultimately help you achieve your main career objective.
Finding a trusted mentor you can rely on will help in your career plan. Finding more than one will help even more, especially if a few are outside of your industry. Jobs and careers are made with relationships and connections. Networking and finding mentors might be a little more difficult with more industries working remotely. However, volunteering for service events, attending conferences, and adding value in your current job, position you as a leader. Mentors are drawn to natural leaders, so just ask if you feel a connection with a colleague. The more genuine connections you make with people, the more likely you will find someone to help you.
Finally, use LinkedIn and use it a lot. If your partner’s career dictates your geographic location and possibly your career goals now, then pivot. What I mean is, what smaller achievements can you accomplish which will help you get toward that larger career goal. Think about teaching, volunteering, or shadowing someone in your desired industry or job. Anything to make yourself more valuable to a future employer will help you in the long run. To overcome a geographic obstacle be sure to link with colleagues in your desired location. You never know what opportunities might open or when you might make a physical move.
Having a career plan is a way to keep your goals on track, yet flexible for life. Especially with the pandemic having families rethink priorities, having a career plan in place will make you feel more in control of your future. Best of luck!