Your Career Plan
Career planning is complex.
It involves a number of steps and actions and it is always evolving. A career plan is not like a plan for assembling a bicycle where a finite number of specific parts fit into set locations.
Career plans change as your desires, interests, and goals in life change. You will always be learning, always experiencing new things and may even wish to change careers entirely at some point.
A person who has worked in IT may decide to explore sales jobs . Does that mean a career plan is not necessary? Absolutely not.
A plan gives you direction and keeps you moving forward toward your goals. As the master of your career plan, you are the one responsible for making the adjustments when necessary.
Where to Start
No matter what stage of your career you are in, you will need to start with an objective.
Depending on if you are working on your long-term career plans or a more immediate career plan, you’ll want to think about some of these questions: Where do you see yourself in the future? What do you want to accomplish this year? What do you ultimately want from your career? Writing out your goals is important because it becomes a tangible thing.
What is Standing in Your Way?
Once you’ve determined your goals, think about your obstacles. List them!
Perhaps you need to meet educational goals, business goals within the job you already have, you may even have personal obstacles standing in your way. Don’t think of obstacles as a negative thing. You are writing them down so you are aware of them and can look for solutions to them.
When writing your career plan you need to be honest with yourself. After all, this is for you and only you and the only way you can achieve what you want is to face the facts and work with them. If “meeting the standard” is not enough for a promotion, you’ll need to find a way to excel.
Find Your Solutions
Now that you have your obstacles written out, you need to find the solutions to move beyond them.
No one ever said that success came easy. You can be certain that your obstacles do have solutions, but they may not all be easy to execute. Solutions may involve significant sacrifices. You may need to put more time into your job and away from your social life or your family.
It may take investing money into education. You may need to relocate. This is where your commitment comes into question and where you may find you may need to re-write your goals right from the beginning. Re-writing your career plan may come after experiencing some of these sacrifices.
Remember, you own the career plan, you can change it. But writing out the solutions to obstacles is very important so that you can both see the how it can be done and if you want to do it.
Take a Look at Sample Career Plans – Create Your Custom Career Map
Career planning is important for everyone.
- If you are a student, you should be thinking about your desired career and how you can start upon graduation.
A career plan will help you get there. If you’ve been working in your career for five years and aren’t satisfied to stay in your position for another five years, you need a career plan.
- If you’re a stay-at-home mom and are contemplating going back into the workforce, you, too, need a career plan.
If you are having trouble writing a career plan, sample career plans are available on the Internet for free. Take a look at them, it’s a good place to start.
Just know that having a career plan is an important way to take all that knowledge floating around in your head and make it into a real, very tangible, custom career map. If you follow it, you are sure to arrive at your desired destination.
Lynn Mattoon is a Content Editor & Career Writer for Salesheads.com and Techcareers.com, Beyond.com career communities.