Getting the most out of your career doesn’t have to be hard. If you set yourself the right goals and standards early, half of the job is done – you just have to adhere to them as you progress through your working life. These standards will only increase as you get better and companies expect more from you. You will be rewarded with progressively better salaries and benefits as you continue, and eventually you may be encouraging new staff to adopt the same attitude to get to where you will be!

Have a plan

This is the most obvious piece of advice you will receive but it’s also the best piece of advice you can get. By researching your industry and career path, you can find the different skills you need at different times and get yourself ready accordingly.

Plans can change at any moment, so don’t set anything in stone. Give yourself the freedom to make changes as you discover new skills or options to explore. You may find that your skills open up a totally different career path than you originally intended – they may even be linked further down the line, so be prepared for anything and have the information ready to make decisions that will have a good impact before the chance disappears.

Make your goals realistic

If you set yourself impossible goals, you’ll never reach them and that can be frustrating. On the other hand, if the goals are too easy, you won’t be challenged and never produce your best work. This is a very hard balance to strike but there is help available.

Recruitment specialists, such as Pareto specialise in finding the best candidates and bring out the best skills, attitudes and jobs to create what they call the “Pareto Effect.” This covers all aspects of ensuring the candidate is at the best level for any employer, while being realistic about what can be done and what expect. The confidence that comes with this clarity and support provides an excellent platform to develop and improve.

Be flexible throughout your career

Change can be a good thing. You might love your job, the people you work with and the company or place you work at but if it offers you no room to move on, then you need to move on before you begin to resent the lack of opportunities. This will affect your work and the relationship with your colleagues. Moving on may mean you see them less but the friendships will be stronger.

Life can throw anything at you without warning, and while having a plan and targets is a good way to stay focused, being open to change allows you to take advantage of new opportunities that could help you reach those goals quickly. Any move that comes up should be fully researched and discussed first, to ensure it does present the best options for your career. You already have a plan for where you are, so only move if the change can have a positive impact or your current plan has reached an impasse.

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