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Do you have a really good career plan?

Do you have a really good career plan?

Do you have a really good career plan?
October 20
16:02 2017


I wish that most people could answer this question with a resounding “yes,” but I usually hear the opposite with a sense of dread. Unless you love planning, it’s not the skill that most turn to when thinking about their careers.

Career planning can seem unnecessary and to be honest a little boring until you are faced with a significant change, like a sudden job loss or the notion you could be doing something more fulfilling.

As with most things in life, career goals don’t usually fall in your lap; it takes effort and a plan to reach them. One of the mistakes people often make in their careers is overlooking the need to plan for their next steps both in the present and the future.

When working with people, there are usually two camps of career changers; those who think about having a plan and those who have one. The speed at which the second camp lands a new job is undeniable.

It does take effort to plan and the payoff of having a direction to pursue with confidence radiates throughout a job search or while working with your employer wanting to advance.

Those who think about having a plan are on the right track yet their good intentions hover around them without acting. Having good intentions can be a disguise for a real plan. You might feel better thinking about your career but most people end up dealing with a career crisis when they are faced with it rather than taking time to gather information when less pressured.

Career planning can be difficult when people go to the extremes. Planning can feel too structured, and for those free spirits who ride with the wind placing their hopes on others to take care of their careers often end up disappointed. For others, tunnel vision on job titles can keep them stuck without flexibility and they could miss opportunities to gather skills on the way toward their career goals.

The truth is you own your career and if you don’t take care of it, you could end up settling for the sake of being employed versus having a plan for a fulfilling career.

Here are some ways a career plan can help you:

  • It’s never too late to start a plan, don’t let age or fear of doing something influence your desire to do something different.
  • Your career will change multiple times throughout your life, some changes will be your decisions others will be made for you such as company layoffs. Planning helps you with a direction to follow regardless changes.
  • The job market is unpredictable, the trends this year are different from last, but when you proactively plan for how you can use your skills and how you present your value to others, it gives you an advantage because you know what you want.
  • You might be in a satisfying career right now, but a plan keeps your networking connections alive, it supports continuous learning and it keeps you moving forward, growing.
  • A plan can bring you peace of mind when changes occur all around you. It may feel like chaos but when you plan your career, it gives you a path to follow.
  • Plans help you maintain your interests and serve as a reality check when new opportunities are presented to you. Many times, a career plan helps you make good decisions in accepting or declining job offers.

While planning may not seem like the most enjoyable thing to do, it helps you during the highs and lows of your career. I know without a plan to follow you are most likely to drift into job opportunities that come your way rather than having a way to measure your progress.

What are your thoughts about a career plan? How did a plan help you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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