5 Steps to Build a Successful Career and Not Just Hold Another Job

If the first thing that came to your mind upon reading the title of this article was “I already have a good job,” you may not be alone. Many people feel that they have a good job and will be completely satisfied with that job – sometimes at the expense of developing their own career. The difference, mind you, between a good job and a successful career is vast. A job can be just going to work to earn a paycheck.

Unlike a job, as steady and secure as it may be, a career is much more of a mindset. People who want a successful career are always thinking about their long-term goals. They have a striving for growth and a roadmap towards greater personal and professional development. Many people who have jobs lack a career, while those without a job can always start building their career if they so choose.

The growth-oriented mindset is a very rewarding one, as building your career can give you even greater financial stability, independence, better social standing, and you will boost the potential to become a role model in and outside of your community. However, not everyone is sure where to begin.  


Start Building a Successful Career


Let’s take a look at a few essential tips for steering your professional journey towards a more successful career that helps you accomplish even more of your professional goals.


1. Define your goals.


On the one hand, people sometimes tend to pursue only their passions, without any distinct plans or ideas on how to actually succeed in their desired field of work.

On the other hand, you’ll come across individuals who are obsessed with the monetary perks of a job without investing considering their genuine love or interest in that career field.

Based on your current skills, knowledge, any degrees you may hold and experience you have accumulated, where do you see yourself?

Narrow down your potential fields and make sure to create a realistic set of career goals beforehand, because only once you see individual milestones can you adjust your behavior to succeed more.


2. Choose your path forward.


There are many different ways in which a person can build a thriving career. For instance, it might very well start with your current job, but you may want to look into different companies with more opportunities for advancement or a similar position with a more challenging workload for your needs.

Then again, you may be the perfect candidate for working as an entrepreneur, kick-starting your own business, locally or globally, and then you’ll need to choose if you want to start alone, with someone who shares your values, if you wish to work from home or if you’d prefer to rent an office.

There are many new business ideas you can consider that include working as a part of an existing, well-established franchise. All of these questions will fall into place together with the right answers when you give yourself a genuine idea of how you envision your career within your field of work.


3. Build a financial foundation.


Since, as the adage goes, money makes the world go ‘round, you also need to cover your bases when it comes to your finances and funding when building or investing in your career. While there are many career financing methods you can consider, from savings to investors, crowdfunding and loans, you first need to make sure that your personal budget will not affect your career journey, at least not negatively.

In case you have low funds, outstanding debt or other challenges like no space you can call an office to start building your career, low rate personal loans can be a perfect solution for such situations. With a little budget boost, you can renovate a room in your home to serve as a dedicated work area or pay for a course that can help you get more knowledge and improve your skills for professional development.

No matter what, you need to stand on firm financial ground when launching and growing your career. You may even opt for a less lucrative or temporary job that’ll help you build a career down the line.


4. Grow your connections.


Networking events have always been - and always will be - a great place to find people in your field of work who share your interest, who can educate you on best career practices, and who can offer job opportunities if you’re a good match. For entrepreneurs, events also serve as great spots to find new clients and partners, so it’s vital to show up at networking events, get in touch with as many people as possible and present yourself and your business in the best light to get noticed and grow your career.

In any case, it’s useful to bring your own printed business cards, perhaps prepare a brief introduction or a presentation of what you do and the solutions you offer. You may even carry your own CV in case you’re on a job hunt. You can also check who else has decided to attend the event to prepare a few talking points with someone who is of interest to you. Make the most of networking events every time.


5. Keep learning and improving yourself.


Finally, every career path, as promising and rewarding as it may be, comes with a steep learning curve that you need to be prepared to tackle beforehand. There’s no room for stagnation in any industry, as you’ll always need to be a few steps ahead of your competition, whether you choose to build a career on your own or under someone’s wing.

Stay informed and updated always on the latest trends, courses, workshops, seminars and events, and get any certification that can help increase your skills, credibility and boost your reputation in your field.

Even though you need to define your own road to success, basing your future career on these simple but fundamental tips will help you recognize the best opportunities for your career and prepare yourself enough to tackle them adequately.

Building a career is a continuous, life-changing and rewarding process – possibly a never-ending one. But it can help you build a legacy of excellence for all future professionals in your field to learn from.

Keith Coppersmith is a business journalist with experience in numerous small businesses and startups. A regular contributor at Bizzmarkblog, he enjoys giving advice to both business owners, and fellow freelancers.