How to Create Different Career Options for Success



The military had a great system for career planning and career progression. Attend the required career schools, perform well in your current position, do well on deployments, and you were headed to a new, challenging assignment every two to four years. Too bad the civilian world does not have such a system.


Career progression in the civilian world is not nearly so straight forward. Fewer and fewer companies have designed career paths and those career paths are sometimes very constrictive to all but a few participants. Instead, employees at all levels must design their own career plans, discover their own opportunities, and find new ways to succeed to their career goals.


The key word for thinking about your career options in 2018 will be the word DIFFERENT. Finding what you do and do not want DIFFERENT will be your key to career changes in 2018.


What Do I Not Want DIFFERENT for My Career in 2018?  The very first step in a career path is discovering what you like and want to keep. It can be a specific location that you are at, a location that you want to move, or staying with your current employer. Often, people think of great big career change ups in the New Year and they disregard or forget what they really are seeking to find. Start your New Year career plan with identifying what you want to keep.


What Do I Want DIFFERENT for My Career in 2018?  Once you have identified what you want to keep, and then discover what you want to change in 2018. Will it be location? A new company? A new job in the same company? A different company and industry all together? A different occupation in the same company? There are lots of options to discover what you want to be different in your career progression. Once you have the range of differences identified, then create a prioritized list to help guide your search.


What are My DIFFERENT Goals for My Career in 2018?  Strategy is often the first word that gets taken out in a discussion of career progression. Instead, put strategy on the shelf for a few minutes and think about your goals for 2018. Is it more responsibility? A new city? New or more diverse skills? Leading a team or increasing the size of your existing team? Innovating a new product or service line for your company? Starting your own business? We all have goals that we have achieved and different goals that we want to achieve. Finding and creating different goals for 2018 is an incredible source of inspiration. 


What are My DIFFERENT Strategies for My Career in 2018?  Strategy is discovering and implementing unique, different, and effective paths to reach the same goals. Simply, strategy is finding different ways to reach a common goal. Thinking about different ways to accomplish your career goals helps you think of more unique approaches to solve your career goals.  Is it a different city? Is it a different company? Is it a different part of the company? Is it a different set of skills? All of these different strategies help you find multiple, different paths to reach the same goals.


What are the DIFFERENT Industry Trends for My Career in 2018?  The final look to help you find new, different, and meaningful input for your career progression. Themes like Customer Experience, meaningful customer analytics that predict purchase patterns, innovating new ways of doing business, and finding customers more effective ways to save time in the shopping experience are all major themes in nearly every industry. A look at trends is a good way to help you find important, different themes to help you be more effective in your career progression.


The focus on DIFFERENT methods and ideas for your 2018 career progression helps you find multiple possibilities and multiple paths to reach those career goals. Instead of focusing on just one or two posted jobs, you need a career strategy that helps finds multiple avenues of success. When you have a clear theme with many strategies to reach your goals, then you dramatically increase your chances of success.


Be different in your career strategies for 2018!


Share your ideas and suggestions for how to find & how to create career options at the start of a New Year.


Other Articles of Interest:

  1. Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile For Career Success
  2. Managing Your Guard-Reserve Military Career & Your Civilian Career
  3. How to Plan and Target Your Career Search, Networking and Transition Plan


Author Biography:

Chad Storlie is a Retired US Army Officer, the author of Combat Leader to Corporate Leader and has published over 250 articles in over 150 publications on military veterans, career advancement, business, leadership, strategy, education, financial planning, and national security topics.  Chad excels as an author, mentor, speaker, and teacher showing business leaders and military veterans how military skills make lives, careers, and businesses better.  Chad is an adjunct Professor of Marketing at Creighton University.  Chad has a BA from Northwestern University and an MBA from Georgetown University.  Follow Chad @CombatToCorp and