It is a process of strategic planning and marketing in order to move forward in one’s career.
You should always think one step ahead. World is changing fast, but once you stick to your career plan, you will be all right.
Famous quote: “People do not fail in realizing their plans. They fail in the process of planning.”, can be applied also to the issue of planning of your own career. After reading this article, you should be able to understand better how to plan your career effectively. There are several steps you have to take in order to get it right and have a decent plan at the end. Let’s have a look at these steps now.
General steps of career planning
1. Understand where you are standing now.
Before we can start planning our future, we should understand where we are at the moment. Ask yourself the following questions to understand better where you stay:
- What are my main strengths and weaknesses as a person?
- In scale from 1 to 10, how would I assess my abilities to do the job I am doing right now?
- Am I satisfied in this job? If not, what things do bother me the most?
- Is my current salary giving me an opportunity to do what ever I want in life?
- Is my education up to date, or do I have the feeling of running behind the young guns?
- Have I made any progress in my career during the last five years?
- Compared to three years ago. Is my job fulfilling me more or less?
Thinking a bit about your present state, about your feelings and emotions related to doing the job, but also about the progress you have made in your career during last five years is important. It will serve like a corner stone for your future planning. What more, it gives you an idea about your potential and pace you are able to walk up the career ladder.
Once you have defined the current situation your career is at, it is time to move forward in the planning of your career and think about the future.
2. Define where you want to be.
Take several sheets of paper and on the top of each write: 3 years from now, 6 years from now, 9 years from now…, until the date you plan to retire. Knowing from the first stage of career planning where you are now and what progress you have made during last couple of years, you should be able to write on every sheet of paper the following information:
- What position you want to occupy at that time in the future?
- What your salary should be in time?
- What characteristics should the job have so it is challenging for you enough and at the same time you can see a meaningful purpose in it?
What do you need to improve to get where you want to get?
Based on your career planning and also some online research, you should be able to include on the second part of each sheet also the following information:
- What personal qualities do you need to work on to be able to perform the job you plan to perform in certain time
- What experience you need to gain, and what education and courses you should undertake to not only be able to perform the job, but also to be able to succeed in the interview and get the job.
- In what time exactly you should start looking for this change, doesn’t matter if within your current company or somewhere else.
After doing both phases of your planning, you should have several sheets of paper. One speaking about your present situation, and several sheets describing your career in the future. You have all the information with the dates. Maybe you have not realized it yet, but this is your career plan. Career planning is not that difficult, is it?
Last thing to mention, but the most important one, is that all plans are worthless without action. Keep your plan at a safe place, but polish it time to time. Your opinions can change in time and your targets can get higher. Important is to follow what you identified during your career plan, work on your abilities, education and experience and move to the next level always on time.
Planned action is what stands between you and your dreams. Do your career planning, and take the action needed to fulfill your plan. We wish you good luck!
If you plan to use some paid advice in the process of deciding about your career, have a look at the following articles:
It should help you to understand better who you are and where you want to go… I wish you good luck on your fascinating journey of life!