The job market is heating up right now, thanks to the economic recovery especially in Asia. Make sure you are ready to take advantage of all the opportunities by taking stock and doing some career planning.

Here’s how to get started:

1. Plan ahead

It may sound like such a cliché but, seriously, where do you see yourself in five and 10 years? Will you still be with your current company? Will you be the head of your department? Will you have taken over your boss’ position?

Or would you be heading up a different company, perhaps your own business? It’s important to have a very clear plan in place because if you do not, you may just find yourself drifting along in your job without much career progression. 

2. Fulfil your passion

The first thing you need to ask yourself is “are you passionate about what you are currently doing?” There is no point dragging your feet to work every day and accepting status quo just because you feel you need to have stability in your life.

Life is too short to be coasting along without passion and allowing yourself to get stuck in a rut. Even if you are drawing a high salary, all the money in the world will not buy you happiness if you hate your work, your boss, your colleagues or your work environment.

If you have already been in the workforce for a few years, you should have a pretty good idea of whether you truly enjoy the job or industry you are in. 

3. Discover your natural talent

Pursuing your passion is wonderful but the reality check is whether you have a natural flair for your chosen field. Some people are great at numbers so they would excel as accountants. Others write well so they choose writing as a profession. Some are good at juggling projects and coordination work so they would make great project managers.

If you are deciding whether to remain within your current field, ask yourself if you are truly great at some aspects of the work and whether this career path will lead you somewhere in life in time to come.

4. Have the right attitude

As a recruitment specialist, I often hear bosses making statements that Singaporeans are a picky lot. Attitude plays a very important role in your career success.

It is important for you to have the right attitude towards work because which boss or supervisor would not want to entrust more responsibilities to a diligent, efficient worker who is not only competent but also possesses a good attitude when executing assignments and projects?

So, take some time to reflect and you may notice that your attitude towards your work and environment probably have a direct correlation with your past successes and failures.

5. Get compensated fairly

Money isn’t everything but everybody wants to be decently rewarded for their  effort. Thus, evaluate where you stand in terms of your professional compensation by benchmarking your salary against the market.

If you work very hard and add good value to your organisation but are not being paid what you are worth, then it is time to ask yourself whether you deserve the proverbial greener pastures that may be out there. If you do, take action. After all, your career is in your hands.