You will never hear anyone say, “I hope my career stagnates this year.” Your IoT career is a chosen path and you want to be sure that you move forward in it.

The problem is that many of us are not entirely sure what to do to plan our career. We planned our education and we planned our employment, but for many of us, that’s as far as we got.

Why should you plan your career?

Think of your IoT career as sort of a lifelong road trip. Without a map you’re going to end up going somewhere, but realistically you’re probably not going to go anywhere worth being. Without good directions, a map or a gps, the trip isn’t going to end on a high note.

Having a career plan gives you a general goal and a set of directions that can help you to get there. The plan will make you take a closer look at the things you are doing and what they are doing for your career. It makes you think hard and commit to a given process. That process begins with assessing the past year and taking a hard look at where you’ve been.

Ask yourself the question “Where would I like to be in my IoTcareer by the end of next year?” “What kind of IoT jobs are out there and what should I be considering?” What would make you feel as though you were a success? How will you know if you’ve achieved your goal? By setting a benchmark or a point that serves as a goalpost.

Next, set your definition of how you are going to get there. IoT jobs are a unique type of employment and each job in IoT requires a unique set of skills and a unique methodology for moving forward in your career path. There are no cookie cutter solutions for making your IoT career move forward.

Plot a course. Define the steps that you need to take and the way in which you will accomplish the forward momentum for your career. Give yourself quarterly goals and objectives to meet that will help you to get where you want to be.

Get help in defining your career path. If you’re uncertain as to how to chart a path forward in your career, find someone who is doing well and has steadily moved forward and ask for their assistance.

Speak with anyone who has successfully navigated a career path like yours. Even older people who are getting ready to retire and have been successful in their career are great people to work with.

Make a choice about the best way to navigate your career path and then commit to it. Watch where you go and evaluate the results at the end of the quarter. If the goals have been met and the movement is positive, continue on that path and it they have not, reevaluate and chart a new path to take you where you want to be.

Just as everything in life changes, your plan will change too and in some cases, things will not go 100 percent according to the plan. The important thing is that you have a goal post and some guidelines with which to work. Those can be changed as necessary to give you a guide that will allow you to plot a more successful career.

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