5 Steps to a Career Plan

This post is a continuation from my last post on career planning. We spoke about the importance of setting goals for our life, family and career. In this post we will look at some practical steps to make your career plan a reality. 

Creating a plan not only gives you a goals but it helps you to see a clear path that will get you to your goals. Your goals could be to move up the corporate ladder at your current firm, switch firms or start your own company. Regardless of your goals a career plan will help you achieve them. In setting your goals it is important to be realist. Take into consideration your talents, experience and passions so that you can create an achievable plan. 

1.    Take a moment to envision what your dream job would look like. Would it be in your current industry or would you change? What type of work would you be doing? What would your hours be like? Would you work in an office or remotely? Be realistic but think outside the box. You have to be able to support your lifestyle and your family but you may be able to do this doing something that you are passionate about. Create a broad picture of what you life would like in 5 years. 

2.    Spend a few moments capturing this 5 year goal in an sentence of paragraph, write it down and put it in a spot where you will see it every day. It might be the mirror in your bathroom, on the visor of your car, in your wallet or in your journal. Just make sure that you will see it every day. This daily reminder of your dream and vision will motivate you to work hard to achieve it. 

3.    Take a moment to make a list of your talents and needed skills. On a piece of paper create two columns. On the left side make a list of all your current skills and talents (even if you are not currently uses them in your job) and on the right side make a list of the skills that you will need for your ideal job. If you want to become a developer but don’t know how to code you will need to take a course on coding. Write it down. 

4.    The next step is to break down your larger goal into smaller steps. I like to reverse engineer my 5 year goal into 4 years goals, 3 year goals, 2 year goals, 1 year goals, 6 month goals and 1 month goals, this week’s goals and today’s goals. Look at your 5 year goals and make a list of steps that you will need to achieve it. What skills do you need to learn, which people do you need to meet, how much money do you need to save, etc. And then break those down into the time frame above. Maybe you can meet the right people in the next 6 months, you can acquire the skills in the next 2 years and you can have the money saved to start your own business in the next 4 years. But it all starts by writing down your goals today. 

5.    Finally you have to constantly review your progress and track your successes and failures. Keep in mind that your plan is always in motion. You may begin down a road only to find that you don’t really want to start your own business and that is fine. By reviewing you can change course and adjust. The key is that you are working towards your goals.