EMPLOYEES who act to ensure their own career development and growth are more likely to secure their dream role long-term, says recruitment consultancy Hays.

Confidence among employers is rising, but unless you have very specific skills in demand, your dream role is unlikely to fall at your feet.

With economists predicting that Singapore is likely to see a return to positive year-on-year growth numbers in the final quarter of this year, it seems the local economy is on track for good job activity.

So take action now to get your career where you want it to be.

Don’t wait and hope the market improvement will bring your dream role, and don’t assume your employer will manage your career development.

It is better that you take responsibility for your own career development. A career map is one method to help you achieve this.

According to Hays, you can create a career map in four steps:

1. Examine your current role

Write down your job title, salary and benefits, key responsibilities, existing skills, future prospects and potential for skill development.

2. Consider your long-term goals

List at least five goals and a date by which to achieve each.

Make sure each goal is specific, challenging, realistically achievable, actionable and measurable.

If you need help with your goals, see below for a list of goal-setting questions.

3. Plan for your career future

For each of the next one, three and five years, list the job title and salary or benefits you wish to achieve, the responsibilities you would like and the skills you will need to achieve your goals.

4. Create a detailed action plan

Determine the objectives and skills you need to achieve each of your one-, three- and five-year career goals.

Decide how you will go about successfully achieving each goal.

For example, you could chair meetings, manage projects or train others in an area of proficiency.

Or, you could seek a mentor, attend short courses or workshops, or learn by watching the high-performers in your company or industry.

Such steps will help you manage your own career through turbulent times as well as times of economic prosperity.

A career map will help you manage any new challenges that come your way and will ensure your career moves in the direction you ultimately wish it to.