Why You Need A Plan for Your Career- Part 1 of 4 on Career Planning

We have spoken a lot in previous posts about envisioning your future and establishing goals to help you achieve the life you want to live. All of these goals are in one way or another tied to your career or the job that you choose. Some of your goals may be relationship goals like improving your marriage. This goal will take time and that time will have to come out of time spent on your career or leisure. Some goals will take money like buying your dream house. That money will need to come from working and maybe working more and that will come at the expense of something else. Our time is limited and we will have to make tough choices as we reach for our goals.

The reality is that we all have to work. No person is free from work. Even if you were born with large trust funds to cover your every expense, you would still have to work to maintain your wealth, adjust your portfolio and ensure its proper functioning. As you can see no one is free from work. 

For most of us our salary or income will be the greatest income building source in our lifetime. People spend a lot of time thinking about what college they will go to or what stock or mutual fund to add to their portfolio but they spend very little time mapping out a plan for the greatest wealth builder in their life time: their career.

The vast majority of people drift along in their careers. If you have ever gone scuba diving or even just a swim in the ocean you can value the force that drift can have. Little by little over time you get carried away by the forces around you. This can happen to us in our careers if we don’t stop to make a plan and set a direction.  Like the old adage says, “If you don’t know where you are going, it doesn’t matter what road you take.” If you don’t know what your goals are it won’t matter what your career is.

Your career will affect all other areas of your life. The career you work towards, your dream job will have positive and negative effects on the rest of your life. So if you take a job for example, that pays less but give you more flexibility, your financial goals could be set back but your relationship goals could improve. And vice versa, if you choose a career that is very demanding you may make more money and reach your financial goals while your personal and family goals may suffer. This is why it is so important to first set and prioritize your goals and then build a career plan that will help reach all of your goals.

In the next three post I will go through how to develop a career plan, 10 Tips for Successful career planning and how to achieve Work Life Balance.