For those of you who may be wondering if it’s necessary to have a career plan; the answer depends on if you’re looking to progress in your career, or if you’re happy in your current role. A career plan is the written directions on how to get to a new level in your career. The benefits of a career plan are that it provides guidelines on what steps you need to take at each step in your career.
So the first step is deciding on what’s the next step in your career.
I had a great manager who told me that when it comes to navigating your career, you will be responsible for 70% and the remaining 30% will be through networking. That advice helped me realize as a young professional that I can’t stand on the sidelines and hope to be noticed but that I needed to play an active role. After that day I put together a career plan and the steps I would need to take to get to that role. I was also able to use that plan to discuss projects and upcoming opportunities with my manager and decide which chances to take and which ones to pass on. My rule for choosing between opportunities is that, if it doesn’t align with your career plan, don’t take it. Now there may be times when opportunities come that may seem like a step back, but in reality, you would be able to gain valuable knowledge that would help you reach your career goals.
When faced with a situation where you have to decide between knowledge, titles or money always go with the knowledge as it will bring the money.
So when creating a career plan, you have to look at what knowledge you will need to gain so that when you get that dream role, you will have the skills and tools needed to be successful!
See plan below on guidelines for creating your career plan for the year. Also, this plan isn’t something that is set in stone, you can revise and update the plan as often as needed.
2017 Career Plan - Outline
Step 1. What do you want your next role to be?
Is this a role in your current company? Or will you need to look outside your company?
Allow yourself 3-5 days to complete this step.
Review the pros and cons of the role and if this role will put you one step closer to your dream role.
Step 2. Do you have the skills for the role you’re interested in?
If this is a role at your current company, set-up a meeting with your manager to discuss the skills you will need for that next role. If this is a role outside of your company, you will need to use the job advert to see if you have the skills required.
Timeline for completing this step will depend on what skills you may need to learn.
This step may require you to obtain certification and or additional training depending or the role and or getting a degree.
Step 3. Get an Accountability Partner/Mentor
It’s now time to start to build a network of support to make sure you stay on course with your career plan.
Allow yourself 7-10 days to decide on who should be your Accountability Partner/Mentor.
This person could be a manager or someone who you feel you can trust to hold you accountable.
Step 4. Build a Network of Professionals
Now you know what role you want to have it’s time to start building a network of professionals. The position you want may not be available yet so begin to network now!
No due date as this should be something that is done on a continuous basis.
You want to have a network of professional contacts before you need a network of professional contacts…
Step 5. Once Steps 1 - 3 are complete, create a plan for the year of what you want to accomplish
Create a plan with realistic due dates for the action items and set up weekly and or monthly meetings with an accountability partner and or mentor.
You will setup due dates based on your plan.
Once you have your plan set, you will be one step closer to landing your dream role!
Will you be creating a career plan for the year?
On the next blog, I will outline the value of having an Accountability Partner/Mentor!