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The AIU blog shares ideas, information and tips aimed at helping you get ahead personally and professionally, with topics ranging from online learning success to career development.

Is it Time to Spring Clean Your Career Vision?

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Spring time is here! The weather is changing and people are finding more reasons to go outside and enjoy the season with friends and family. Many people feel that this time of year is all about newness and growth. This concept can be used when evaluating the season of your career change, too. Is it time for something new in your life? Are you looking to grow within your company? If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, it may be time to spring clean your career vision. This consists of four steps: revisiting your goals, understanding yourself, creating a strategy and implementation.

Revisiting Your Goals: Remember the vision you had when you started your degree program? You had a specific reason for choosing to advance your education. Now is the time to reassess that vision and determine if it is still relevant to your future career goals. Take a sheet of paper or open a blank Word document, and write down your current situation at the top: Are you working? Are you in school? Near the bottom of the page, write down your end goal. Finally, fill in the middle with the steps you need to get to your end goal. If you do not know what other steps you need, it would be best to research your end goal. You may find that seeking additional training or experience can help you reach your goal more efficiently. Being prepared with this information can allow you to make adjustments along the way.

Understanding Your Attributes: In this step, you will get to know more about yourself and how you function. The way to do this is to actually write down all the things you are good at. Even if it is a small attribute, such as problem-solving or conflict resolution, you never know how important it is. Once you have your list you, compare it with the qualifications of your end career goal to isolate areas of growth opportunity. If there is a qualification you need to gain or strengthen, you can give yourself time to "sharpen your tools" and better prepare for that position.

Creating a Strategy: Now it is time to make a game plan that can help you achieve your goal. Your first step is focusing on a positive mindset, assuring yourself that you can and will conquer your goals. Next, create a plan that will keep you on your path to reach your goal. Don't be afraid to ask for help with your goal to ensure it is achievable and that you are on the right path. You can work on this with a mentor, professor, or Career Services. And if possible, get an accountability partner, someone that will encourage and motivate you.

Implementing: Finally, jump in with both feet. Keep your goals before you at all times, and stay on the path you create in your strategic planning.

Spring cleaning your career vision is very important. It can help you develop a clear direction and allow you to stay focused on your goal. The ultimate key to setting your career goals is making sure you are headed on a path that will make you happy. Do not live out someone else's vision. In life, you are called to do something great that only you can accomplish, so make every moment count.

Interested in more posts on job search related topics? Check out our Career Development blog.

If you're a current AIU student or alumnus looking for more career advice, please contact the Career Services Department at 877-221-5800 Option 5 or at