Where Is Your Career Going? 5 Steps To Develop A Career StrategyNov 08, 2010
Where is your career heading? Do you know?
Most people spend more time and effort planning their vacation than they do planning their career. In order for you to realize your career dreams you must first know where you are going and then develop a strategy and plan for getting there. Do you know where you want your career to be in 5, 10 or 15 years? How is what you are doing now going to help you get there? Here are 5 steps to help you get there.
Step 1: Assess where you are now
Before you get where you are going, you need to know and understand where you are. Start out by looking at your current work and describe it. Expand to include what are your skills, natural talents, and interests. Do an exhaustive brainstorming and write them all down, regardless of whether you are currently using them. Doing this exercise first may also help you come up with more ideas for the next step.
Step 2: Know where you are going
Define as precisely as possible what you want your career (and the rest of your life) too look like. What is your role? What company are you working for? What industry? What does your day-to-day job look like? Are you a technical expert? A manager? An executive?
Step 3: Identify the gaps between Step 1 and Step 2
Now, start brainstorming about all of the skills and experience you need to gain in order to get from where you are to where you want to be. Do you need to gain management experience? Become more at ease at public speaking? Become comfortable with sales? Learn more about your industry? Seek additional formal or informal education? What can you learn from your current job? What will require you to get another position within the same or different company? What will you need to learn on your own?
Step 4: Write you Career Strategic Plan
Know that you know where you are, where you are going, and what you need to do to get there, start writing the plan for your career strategy. Start by writing a paragraph about where you want to go and why. Include an emotional connection and this will help you stay connected to your long term goal. Keep it short. Then write where you are and list the steps you need to take, one by one, until you end at the description of your final goal. Put dates by when you would like each goal accomplished. Make sure each step is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound). If you can, create smaller steps along the way, something that can be accomplished every week.
Step 5: Find someone to hold you accountable
People who are successful at achieving their goals have someone they work with who holds them accountable for doing what they said they would do. This can be a friend, a coach, or members of a mastermind group. The way this works is to first talk with someone about your goals, then set up a weekly check in (it can be as little as 5 minutes) say what you want to do in the coming week, and report back on what you did or did not accomplish the following week. If you failed to meet your goal, talk about what happened that got in the way. Was your weekly goal realistic? Make adjustments and move on with renewed energy.
Are you ready to get started?
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