While transitioning from the military service to the civilian sector and beyond, career success requires you to have a good idea of what you want your civilian career to look like -- both short and long term.
You can have all of the ambition and work ethic in the world, but without a clear plan, you will fall short of expectations. In order to get started, you have to know where you want to go. You must have vision in order to be successful.
Vision is a clearly articulated set of career priorities, combined with a solid understanding of what personal career success looks like to you. You have a unique opportunity at this point in your career. Because you are starting a new chapter, there are very few pre-designated career paths.
That means that you can truly design your own career success and professional path. You can leverage your true strengths and talents and create the career that you want. You simply need to define what success looks like for you.
For your vision to be achievable, it must be simple and concise. Too many priorities is a recipe for failure. You can do anything, but you can't do everything. And if you find yourself trying to do everything, you will tread a lot of water without making progress. Keep your priorities and objectives simple and focused.
You also need to ensure that your vision is balanced with reasonable expectations. Your vision of career success should always be grounded in a complete awareness of your talents and strengths and how you best add value to others.
Once you have a clear picture of where you ultimately want to end up, you must develop goals and milestones that allow you to make and measure continual progress toward your ultimate vision. Goals and milestones provide inspiration and motivation. Clear goals help you avoid leaving your career to chance, and they allow you to focus instead on heading in a purposeful direction toward the next step.
Take some time to think about your career as a whole -- both what you have done in the military service to get to where you are and where you want to go within your new civilian career. Then answer the following questions:
- What does ultimate career success look like to you?
- What are your top three priorities as you look to redefine your career outside of your prior branch of service?
- What personal strengths and talents should you be looking to leverage as you work toward your vision of career success?
When you have clear answers to the previous questions, you can start crafting a plan that will lead you toward ultimate career success as you enter the civilian working world. Good luck on your new adventure.
Lead Star, LLC was founded by Angie Morgan and Courtney Lynch, best-selling authors of the business book, "Leading from the Front." Lead Star teaches leadership based on Angie's and Courtney's experiences as Marine Corps officers, private sector professionals and entrepreneurs.
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