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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Willey

Fearless in 5: How to Map Out Your Career Path

Have you ever felt like mapping out your career path is like playing a game where you don’t have the instructions?  If so, you are not alone.  Wouldn’t it be great if it felt more like Chutes and Ladders where you had a few shortcuts that could fast track your way to the top?  That’s what we’re going to address in this week’s Fearless in 5 and share 5 things you can do to fast-track your career success.

#1 Talk to People Three to 10 Years Ahead of You in Your Desired Field or Role

Ask them what they love about the job. What skills are required? What do they wish they knew earlier and what can you do specifically to further your path? This can help save valuable time and effort and help you really clarify your direction.

#2 Find Out if Your Company Has a Competency Skills Matrix  

This is a list of all the different skills that are required for every role within the company. This can help you understand very clearly what it is that you need to know to move into a position that’s in your sights.

#3 Create an Individual Development Plan with Your Manager

This is where you will outline the specific skills you need and what you can do to move in your desired direction.  You should meet with them on a regular basis to talk about what types of online learning, classes, meetings or training programs that you can participate in to help move you ahead.   

#4 Remember to Advocate for Yourself  

Raise your hand. Ask for stretch assignments. Volunteer your time to work on strategic projects or initiatives for managers that you would like to work for. Self-advocacy is a way to make sure that you’re not overlooked.

#5 Engage an Entire Team in Your Career Planning

Do not just rely solely on your boss. Think about other mentors, your HR business partners or other folks who care about you who can help provide unique and diverse perspectives and help you get where it is that you want to go.

The reality is if you’re a superstar, which I’m sure you are, your manager doesn’t want you moving off your team and this is why you need an objective team helping you along your way.  Your career path is a journey that you need to navigate with strategy and confidence.  For more tips on how you can fear less at work and in life, check out

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