A career plan captures the career vision of an individual in a structured documented fashion.
The career plan details your current skills and interests, knowledge gaps and career goals as well as detailed actionable steps with clear timelines to ensure that a desired outcome is achieved.
Hereunder are 10 top career planning advice for success:
Complete a Personal Inventory
This step requires that you to take time to create and review your career goals and vision. Take some personal time away from the hustle and bustle of life and capture what you want your future to look like.
This process requires a lot of time to take a personal inventory of how your life is and what changes you believe aligns with your desired mission and purpose.
Write Down Each Goal
Once a personal inventory is completed, it’s important to write each career goal down on paper. Research has shown that writing down your goals is the first time to making them a reality.
Psychology Professor, Dr. Gail Matthews, at the Dominican University in California conducted a study on goal setting with nearly 270 participants. The findings revealed that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.
Along the same lines, the bible in the book of Habbakuk speaks about writing visions and making them plain.
Therefore, once you have completed your inventory, document your career plan.
It will be nearly impossible for you to tackle each goal at the same time. Therefore, you will need to reflect and priortise your goals. How you rank your goals will depend on a lot of factors such as the amount of time that you have or current commitments.
Therefore reflect and rank your goals into what you can tackle immediately, or in 90 days, or 1 years’ time. A great time period to tackle a goal is over a quarter which is 90 days.
Break down goals into actionable steps
Once you have selected the goals that you want to tackle each quarter, create a list dividing the goal into actionable steps.
There will be certain things that you can tackle right away while there are others that will extend over a long period of time.
Assign Deadlines to Each Goal
After you have divided the goal into actionable step then assign deadlines to each goal.
If you are working in 90 days periods, then divide the goals into quarterly actions and then further into daily actions.
You can consider using techniques such as the Eisenhower Decision Matrix and the Ivy Lee Method to manage your daily focus.
The Eisenhower’s decision matrix uses urgency and importance as the framework to classify a task. These are further divided into four groups being important, less important, urgent and not urgent.
On the other hand, the Ivy Lee Method involves writing down the six most important tasks that you need to accomplish the following day and ranking these in order of importance.
Ivy Lee recommends that an individual focuses on the first task until it is completed. Only then, you the second tasks be tackled. Uncompleted tasks are moved to the following day.
I have written articles which extensively covers both the Eisenhower Decision Matrix and the Ivy Lee Method for prioritizing tasks. Feel free to explore these in further detail.
Identify Any Skills & Knowledge Gaps
Review the actionable steps that you have compiled and decide whether there are any goals that you will like to accomplish but do not have the skill and ability to do so.
After you have identified these, then clarify what strategy you will put in place to fill these gaps.
Should you consider working with a mentor? Are there courses and workshops that you can consider attending for added knowledge?
Do you need to consider returning to school to get a degree? Would joining an accountability group or mastermind help you get achieve that goal?
What strategies do you need to implement to stay consistent with the plan
If you are someone who is dedicated then staying consistent may not be a struggle. However, if you have challenges in this area then you need to set up a structure to ensure that you stay consistent with the plan.
Working with a mentor or having an accountability partner even though that individual’s career plan is different to yours could be helpful.
According to Tony Robbins, the race of life is a marathon, not a sprint. Similarly, your career journey is a marathon.
Ensure that your career plan has areas of flexibility and set up rewards along the way to keep you motivated and inspired.
With that being said, give yourself grace as there may be seasons of your life where consistency may look different.
Revisit the Plan
A career plan is not a one off document that is prepared and implemented. Maintaining career plan is a process of continuously identifying new growth areas, setting goals, dividing these goals into actionable steps and completing these actions.
Therefore an objective of visiting your plan whether it is every 90 days or every year should be decided.
Update Your Resume
Once you have achieved growth in a particular area, update your resume to reflect your new accomplishments. Having an up to date resume is vital as usually opportunities can arise out of the blue.
According to Bob Unser, success is where preparation and opportunity meet. Therefore, having a resume on hand is critical. There are resume samples available in our free resource library. Click HERE to access these.
Strategic career plan over a consistent period of time will lead to career growth and advancement by seizing new opportunities with your new found skills and knowledge.
This may mean seeking out roles within your current organisation or even applying for jobs outside of your current firm.
Exploring alternative opportunities could take the form of researching organisations that you are interested in working at.
This could be married with other strategies such as informational interviewing with employees of that organisation to get insight into what roles suit you best.
Career planning is an ongoing process to ensure that over time you experience career growth and development. Hope these 10 top career planning advice assist you in achieving massive success.
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