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(Last Updated On: July 14, 2018)

Everyone wants to achieve their career goals but many of us fail continuously. Did you ever think, why?

Either we missed something in our thought process or ignored something in our planning. Someone said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. How true is it? I believe, it is true until you are fortunate enough to prove it wrong. If you are fortunate enough, it is called destiny. Personally, I believe in destiny but that doesn’t mean I should stop putting my efforts to make the things happen. However, we all learnt “Where there is a will, there is a way”. In this article, I am going to explain three steps process to achieve your long-term career goals. Why am I focusing on the long-term? Because if you are on the right path to achieve your long-term goals, most probably you are achieving your all short-term goals as well.

In corporate world, many of us aspire to hold an executive leadership position but if you see the people required for those positions are a handful numbers. Therefore, if you want to become a CXO then act like them from the day 1 of your career but if didn’t do it in the past, start from now. ?

Did you see any organization without Vision, Mission, and Execution strategy? If yes, it means they have it for sure but they didn’t disclose it. Before, I start explaining three steps; let me clarify that these steps are not only for corporate success but it applies everywhere.

To understand the entire concept well, you must look back into your past. In your childhood your parents and teachers aspire to educate you. If you have interest in medical and you want to become a doctor, your education happens accordingly. If you will think about it, you will realize that there was a vision to make you a doctor and mission was planned accordingly from early childhood education to primary education to secondary education to higher education, and each phase had same importance to achieve the final goal. You, your parents and teachers had executed it well to accomplish the mission in multiple phases one-by-one.

I hope, this picture explains you everything in a nutshell.

Now, apply the same strategy in your professional life to achieve your career goals. Talk to yourself and find the inner you that has some aspirations to make you feel happy. Because if you do what you love then no one can stop you in this universe to achieve anything. Once, you find the vision for your career; note it down somewhere and now seek advice from your mentors or do the research thoroughly to find the multiple ways to achieve it. All different ways to achieve the same goal will not work for you. Therefore, you need to go through the rigorous selection process to finalize two or three ways to achieve your career goal. You will realize that these two or three paths cut-across in multiple stages of your entire career. Select the path that is easy to start with and then you can find the next and the next and the next automatically. Finally, after selection of the right path; you need to plan it well and execute the same extraordinarily.

Now, let me explain it to you once again through an example. If, I would like to become a Chief Architect then first and foremost I need to understand “what the Chief Architect is in Information Technology?”. When I know it well, I will realize that this role needs 360-degree experience in IT, innovative mind and leadership attributes. I can simply divide it to in three career stages:

First: early career stage -> I need to play multiple roles to gain 360-degree IT experience such as support, consulting, engineering etc.

Second: mid-career stage -> Need to play architecture roles in different capacities (from small to medium to large) with out-of-the box thinking approach.

Third: later-career stage -> Need to play different senior architecture roles and exhibit leadership skills like the Chief Architect.

The reflections from entire journey, gives a confidence to the leadership team that you are the best fit for this role to move on.

I tried to explain you it well in my capacity but you can share your own views on it as I believe “ONE SIZE DOESN’T FIT ALL”.


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Ajay Kakkar

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Ajay is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional with diversified IT industry experience in end to end solution designing, engineering, enterprise architecture, presales, consulting, technical advisory, transition and transformation, project management, building, mentoring & managing technology teams, and successfully delivering projects on time with scope.He is author of technical blogs and reviewer of Microsoft Press books. Speaker in many forums (Microsoft conferences and local user groups) across the country for end-user, infrastructure and cloud technologies.

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