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The start of a new year inevitably brings with it a surge in energy and motivation to make big changes in our lives. Top of the list for many people is making moves to shake up our careers.

Whether it’s a complete career change, going for a promotion, or expanding your skillset to take on more responsibilities, setting new professional goals is often a high priority.

But setting out with good intentions isn’t quite enough to ensure you reach your goals. Just like fad diets and get-fit-quick schemes, having a career goal without a long term plan likely won’t get you very far.

The key to creating and reaching your career goals comes down to being clear about what you want and creating an actionable roadmap to get there. Below are 7 steps to create a plan and transform your future.

1. Be clear on what your motivations are for change

Before you start making a plan it’s important to be really clear on why you want to make a change. There is no doubt making big changes to your career can be both scary and challenging. It can impact your finances, family and personal life, so being clear on your motivation not only helps you stick to your plan initially, it can help guide you as your career develops. Consider this if you’re aiming to:

  • Create a clearly defined career path
  • Increase your earning capacity
  • Move into management roles
  • Create more flexibility in your work life
  • Working toward owning your own business
  • Creating more opportunity your family
  • Create opportunities for immigration to Australia


By being clear on your motivation you can start to assess different job roles and pathways to ensure you’re chosen career move is aligned with your ultimate goal to keep you motivated through the process.

2. Reflect on your current role and position

To know where you want to go, it’s vital you know where you currently are and what skills and experience you can build on as you create your next steps. Whether you’re starting a full career change or staying in the same industry, set some time aside to reflect on your current role and industry experience.

Consider and note down:

  • What are your strengths
  • What transferrable experience do you have
  • What technical skills have you developed
  • What soft skills have you developed
  • What elements of your day to day job make you feel happy


3. Do your research to find the roles that suit your goal

Once you have an overview of your skills, experience and what elements bring you work satisfaction do some research to find out what roles and areas might suit you.

  • Check job ads for your desired or dream role and make a note of what skills or experience you have or are missing
  • Reach out to colleagues or leaders in your desired role to gain insight into the role. Requesting mentorship is also a great way to get additional support as you transition into your next role.


If your goal is to increase your pay, remember that job titles can have a big influence on your salary so look for the job titles that reflect your ideal, and realistic salary range. For more information read about how job titles can affect your salary.

4. Make a plan to bridge your skills gaps

  • Are there skills you need that you can get in your current role? Being proactive while you’re in your current position can help you learn new skills while you begin the process of looking for jobs. Try talking to your manager to take on more responsibility or gain exposure to new tasks.
  • Are you moving to another role within the same industry? If you’re wanting to move to another area try piloting the new role on the side. Ask your manager if you can get some shifts in another section of your hotel, taking on some extra unpaid hours to move to a new kitchen section or working with a colleague as a labourer or extra hand.


5. Make sure you have the certification for your existing skills

Once you know what qualifications you’ll need for your next role start by getting your existing skills qualified. So many people hold back from moving into new roles and industries because they think they’ll need to undertake expensive and time-consuming training that will take them away from their work and family.

Recognised prior learning can help you get your skills and expertise certified through your existing experience. If you’re ready to start planning your next career move talk to our experts on 13 17 75 to see if you can get your skills certified or to learn more about the process or leave your details on our enquiry form.

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