Yes, you definitely need a plan for anything let alone something as crucial as your career. Why? Simply because it is vital to your career success. Many leading names in the business world such as Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg have been known to regularly make plans for their career success!
It matters not whether you only have a slight clue about what you want to do or intend to switch careers, making a plan always comes in handy. Setting aside time to plan your career, helps you take charge and sets you up to take that next step. Having a career plan aids your thought process as to the types of skills required for your dream job, and even milestones you need to achieve for a promotion.
Here are some simple tips to get started.
1. Time for self-reflection
If you are not sure what you want to do, it is important to reflect and list down your current soft skills, technical skills and qualification and your passion or interests.
Taking time out for self-reflection and self-assessment makes it much easier to create a plan that suits your interest and goals.
Similarly, if you have a clear vision about your dream job or even intend to switch jobs, consider the steps you need to take to get there while listing down your current skills/work experience, additional skills you would need to acqire and the recommended leadership roles.
2. Set goals
Once you have identified your interests and current skills, you are now ready to work on setting your SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timebound) goals. Better still, share these goals with a friend as it creates a sense of accountability and writing down them down embeds them in your long-term memory.
3. Create a plan
Having identified your interests and what you want to do, now it is time to create a plan to realise your goals. Develop a career map which ends at your dream job. Identify roles that may build you up for success to ultimately secure your dream job. Lateral moves helps you gain more well-rounded skills while sequential moves are promotions to a different role or responsibility at a new level in the organisation. Oftentimes, lateral moves prepares one to be able to take a big leap to land that dream job.
You could begin by making a pros and cons list, identify a few career paths and evaluate how each career path aligns with your goals. Start small and create a 5-year plan with minor milestones to achieve and steps to achieve them.
Spend time doing your own research to determine new learning opportunities or upgrade your skills either with your current employer, via skills programmes or by networking or volunteering for other organisations that help you develop new skills.
Set yourself on the right path by reflecting, setting goals and developing a plan and fine-tuning it to achieve your career goals!