Does your career plan need a reboot or a kickstart?
When life and work get busy, it can be easy to get lost in the momentum and lose focus on our original destination. Stay on track, feel inspired and aim for something more by putting a career plan into action.
What’s a career plan?
A career plan is a formal strategy that helps you develop, navigate and set your professional goals. Giving you a professional and competitive edge, a career plan enables you to establish short and long-term goals. A career plan keeps you on track with your career aspirations and assists you in mapping out actionable steps.
In short, a career plan is a guide you set for yourself to help you stay on track and towards your ultimate career destination.
How-to kickstart your career plan
1. Self evaluate
Before diving into where you want to be, it’s a good idea to evaluate where you currently are. Begin by assessing your current situation and experience. A thorough understanding of your starting point is crucial before starting on step two of your career plan.
Be clear on where you currently sit in the market, what skills you have and what assets you bring. Know your weaknesses, strengths and everything in between.
This knowledge will be power in establishing the steps and progress needed to reach your career ambitions.
Let’s get you started with some simple dot points:
- What is my current occupation?
- What professional experience do I have?
- What relevant education have I completed?
- What do I enjoy doing?
- What do I find challenging?
2. Decide your direction
Now that you’ve assessed where you currently are, it’s time to explore where you want to be.
Originally, what we may think we want in a career might not be our reality, so get a taste of what’s available first. Explore the industry and develop an understanding of the various roles available.
A point of comparison will help give a more defined indication of where you want to be. Remember, a career is more than its starting point. Smart career plans embrace the journey and progression involved. Taking into account the steps needed to achieve something bigger.
Set your intention and keep an eye on the prize.
3. Set Goals
Once you’ve set your sights on the ‘final destination’, you can start to set some goals for yourself to help you get there.
Ensure that these goals are S.M.A.R.T so you can work towards them confidently, knowing they’re taking you towards your dream career destination. Pace yourself by breaking down large, long-term goals into shorter, more achievable steps.
Again this is a journey. Make it a marathon, not a race, and enjoy the satisfaction of ticking off targets along the way. Celebrate milestones and acknowledge the progress made (rather than focusing on what is still to be achieved).
4. Document your plan
Once you’ve established the S.M.A.R.T goals needed to get you where you want to be, it’s time to document the plan in its entirety.
Write down everything that will happen along the journey and where you will be at each stage. The goals that need accomplishing and the actions you need to take to make it all happen.
A documented plan has substance. Tangible and real, it gives your mind a clear set of instructions and a vision of what’s to come.
5. Revisit your plan
Revisit, review and re-evaluate your plan often! Reviewing your plan will remind you of your aspirations and help you analyse how far you’ve come.
Having a physical copy of the plan that you can revisit throughout your journey will help you feel motivated and driven to achieve your end goal. It will keep you accountable and guide you in times of need.
While career plans will sometimes change over the process of the journey, they are invaluable to your ongoing success.
If you have a mentor or career coach, it’s well worth sharing this process with them too. The more ‘real’ a plan is, the more accountable you will feel to action the steps. Sharing your goals helps to solidify the plan and offers an opportunity for additional insight.
Wanting some assistance working out your very own career plan? Contact one of our specialised recruiters for a free, zero-obligation consultation. We can talk you through the steps and help guide you on what’s available in the market. Contact Us.
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