Most people don’t spend time thinking about their career. Most people don’t realize that how they see their career and how their career appears to others are entirely different things. People are either preoccupied with the job they have, or are preoccupied in thinking about the job they want. They might update their resume every now and then, but they won’t take time out just to consider where their career is or where it should be going.

Your job isn’t your career

The first thing you realize when you really think about your career is that your current job isn’t your career. Your current job is just a stage of your career. If you think about it, you will realize that that your current job only accounts for part of what you can do. When it comes to understanding how you should view your career, that difference between your current abilities and your position description is important. Another important difference is gap between your aspirations for work and your current position description. It’s likely that what you want to be doing and what you are doing aren’t exactly the same thing.

Where do I want to be five years from now?

Once you’ve thought about this, next ask yourself where you want to be five years from now. For some people the answer will be “doing the same thing that I’m doing now” – which is an okay answer. Though I suspect that it is unlikely to be the answer that anyone interested in a site like Gooroo would provide. If you are interested in a service like the one provided by Gooroo, then you are likely interested in moving forward from where you are today rather than staying in the same place. You’re here because you want a future you to be in a different place to the one you are in now.

It’s important to realize that understanding your career isn’t about knowing exactly where you’ll be five years from now. There is a big difference between the questions “where do you want to be in five years time” and “where will you be in five years time”. You can’t predict the future. At best you can set a course in the direction where you want your future career to be.

Chart a course

Setting a course is important. The reality is what most people’s careers have been dictated more by circumstance than a deliberate sense of direction. The only time they look up towards the horizon is when an external circumstance prompts them. They wake one day and find that their current job is intolerable or that the organization they work for has its circumstances change and they are let go.

Once you know where you are and if you know where you want to go, you can start making plans on how to get there. You’ll seek out the training, knowledge, and experience you need to progress towards whatever goal you’ve set. Someone with a great understanding of their career has their next few steps planned out. In a technology career, this means knowing which new technologies you need to learn. Once you know what you need to learn you can start to look for the courses you need to take and the credentials you need to obtain.