As young professionals one of the reasons why you need a mentor, is to help you map out your career in a creative way; so that you are not confused, so that you have a sense of direction and you pursue learning with strong objectives in mind.
For most of us, we did not have the luxury of career counselling in high school or after; so we followed our friends take a university course that seem cool or that they chose. Now we are here; whether your current academic achievement is utterly our choice or you was influenced into it by your Job, Family, Life Partner, Economy or friends? you must map out your career well; so you don't get unnecessarily tired along the way and or distracted which is prevalent in most cases these days.
Career Mapping, as I would put it is identifying directions, setting up goals and executing action plans for advancement in your career. For you to map out your career you must have identified what your career goals are; you must have a visual and mental picture of where you see yourself in that career in 5years. With this goal in mind and on paper, you can now map out your career as extensive as you can draw it out.
Some tangent strategies for Career Mapping includes:
Determining your Starting Point; You first need to identify where you should start, if you find yourself in a workplace, simply ask yourself: is this where I need to be to get to where I'm going (i.e career goal)? you have to determine what your start point should be, if you need to move, then do it. The best time to start chasing your career objective is 10yrs ago; the second best time is now.
Determine your End Point; The purpose of determining your finishing line is so that you can be focused 85% of your career journey. So much distractions will come, you have to keep your eyes on the prize and the finish line; don't just think about, write it down. Where will I need to be in Life and in career to have completed my work and go on to retirement?
Outline Connection Points; The next thing to do is determine how you can showcase yourself as a professional in your Career path; No matter how hard you work and what you know, if you are not in a working environment that inspires personal and professional growth? If you are working in a toxic and laidback work environment; then you must creatively put yourself out there through Networking, Meetings, Conferences and Seminar Participation, Committees, Volunteering and Leadership roles to announce yourself as a professional (that can provide immense value) looking to advance themselves through career opportunities available and inline with career goals.
If you need help mapping out career, ensure you reach out to a mentor or ask someone that is accomplished in your desired career path to be your mentor and help you map out your career. DO NOT JOIN A CAREER BECAUSE OF PEER PRESSURE, FAMILY PRESSURE, MONEY OR CIRCUMSTANCES; Because when things starts going wrong or things get rough? you will be frustrated.
Career Mapping is a serious issue, academicians and young professionals in whatever career path or yet to start a career must map out their career to save Money, Time, Energy and their Faith.