Man is standing on a crossroad of his career, illustration, a man standing below a signpost that shows many directions.  You should always think one step ahead. World is changing quickly, and in order to make right decisions today (decisions about your education and job choice), you should know where you want to be in five, and in ten years from now.

In this article we will outline the basics of career planning, and suggest how you can compose your career plan, step by step.


Step by step career planning guide

1. Understand where you are right now
Before you can start planning your future, you should understand (without emotions) your present situation. Ask yourself the following questions to understand it better:

  • What are my main strengths and weaknesses?
  • On a scale from 1 to 10, how would I assess my abilities to do the job I am doing right now?
  • Am I satisfied with my job? If not, what things do bother me the most in work?
  • Does my current salary satisfy my expectations?
  • Is my education up to date, or am I missing something?
  • Have I made any progress in my career during the last five years?
  • Comparing myself today, and myself three years ago, do I enjoy my job more, or less?


2. Define where you want to be.

Take several sheets of paper and write on the top of them: 3 years from now, 6 years from now, 9 years from now…, until the date you plan to retire.

Then try to answer the following questions, and write the answer on each sheet of paper:

  • What position you want to have at that time?
  • How much money you want to earn?
  • Where do you want to be in your personal life?
  • What value do you want to bring to the society with your work? 

What do you need to improve to get to your destination?

Try to write on each sheet of paper the following things:

  • The personal qualities you need to improve to get the job you want to have in 3 (6,9,12) years from now.
  • The experience you need to gain, courses and seminars you should attend.
  • When exactly you should start looking for a new job, and how you plan to do it (internally, externally, your own business, etc).


Don’t forget to take action

A man is offering a hand to someone, smiling. Illustration of a success in a job interview. You should have several sheets of paper by now. One speaking about your present situation, and the others describing the desired scenario for your future. This is the simple career plan, one you can start following from now on.

Remember though, that all plans are worthless without action.

Unless you follow the sheets, unless you try to gain experience and improve your knowledge, and progress according to your plan, you will not reach your destinations. Planning is one thing and following a plan another one….


Plans do sometimes change

Life is unpredictable. We can die tomorrow, we can move to another country, we can meet the love of our life and change our career completely, just to be with that person.

Revisit your plans each year, and change them if you need, or if you feel like changing them. Career plans evolve with your life, and you should change them from time to time…

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