Creating a Career Plan

Uncategorized May 07, 2020

A career plan is not just about your next promotion or next raise. It’s about your long term plan for your career. Your final destination.

Start by asking yourself what would be the ultimate aspiration of your career? Then create a plan to get there.

If you’re clear about the destination, then a few bumps in the road won’t feel like a complete derailment or failure.  Detours due to small bumps are inevitable. But having clarity of your destination will help you think about your next move instead of giving up your dream goal. 

Stop giving yourself an “out” if you can’t figure out what to do. Start thinking about strategic moves and actionable items that will help you figure it out. An action plan lays out what you need to complete in order to accomplish your goals. Accomplishing these tasks are based on a timeline in which every task is assigned a timeframe. This helps you to reach your goal efficiently.

I spent 4 years in my career when I decided to change paths. I quit my job and while getting my masters worked as an intern. It was ok that I was an intern. I knew it was a necessary step in the direction I wanted to go in my career. It didn’t mean I was a failure. It was a step forward, a foot in the door to my ultimate career goal. 

Stop treating your career like a hobby. You spend more than 40 hours or more a week in your career, there needs to be more planning involved. Don’t just save the planning for your meals and workouts. You have invested a significant amount of money getting your diploma, treating your career as your startup. What is your plan to secure your ROI?

Your career, your legacy is important. Navigate your life with a purpose. Your inner GPS helps you get from where you are in life to your end destination, your dream career goal. No matter where you are in your career, you can go further and faster. However, you must create a career plan to get there. Creating a career plan transforms how you spend time and effort and ensures you’re moving in the right direction.

Much like an action plan, a career plan is a step-by-step plan to guide your professional life successfully. It includes taking steps to evaluate your options and develop a tangible, strategic plan to reach your career goals. 

It’s important to understand that you don’t have to sit back, wait and hope for your dreams to find you. You can have it all. 

By creating a career plan, you prepare for any future detours and navigate through them without having your world turned upside down.

3 steps to creating a career plan

Here are 3 steps to creating a career plan:

  1. Decide what is the peak of your career and what makes this your ultimate career goal. Does it match your core values? Does it match your personal qualities and align with relationships you aspire to have. Write it down. 
  2. Determine what skills you need to make your career goal a reality. Find out what is the required industry experience needed and recommended leadership roles. Start building a bucket of skill sets that will help you reach your goals.  Even if at times, a job doesn’t necessarily fit very well, it can provide the skills you need to take a step forward.
  3. Now let’s create the road map. From your current position, think about the next step or goal. Build a logical sequence that your career should follow. Write down what makes this the next step for you in your plan. How does the next step relate to your dream job and include a date to complete the next step or goal. 

Then determine the skills required for the next goal and then you can start working on acquiring those skills and experience. 

What projects do you need to work on? What courses do you need to take? What could a coach help you with? Write it down and “rinse and repeat” for every single step. 

What I envision for you is every single step brings you closer to your dream career. It may not be super fun at times, but the important thing is that you’re moving forward. And that’s all that matters. 

The takeaway

Once you start this process, you can refine it and determine if it’s the right path for you instead of floating along until you realize too late that you want something different.

Creating a career plan can help you accomplish great things by building on what you already have and what you need to have to reach your career goals.

It helps you to be prepared for whatever lies ahead in your career. Be deliberate and intentional about your career plan, but always be ready for detours and bumps in the road that can lead to new steps and adventures. 

You are responsible for where you go in your career.


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