When you’re making plans for your career – whether you’re taking your first steps into the world of work, building on an already solid foundation or making a change to something completely different – it can be helpful to have a framework on which you can hang your plans.
Follow these ten steps and get yourself a robust career plan that will get you going places.
1. Where, or what, do you want to be?
When you’re setting out on a journey, all the packing and planning in the world won’t make for a successful trip unless you know where you’re going. Often, knowing that is the most difficult bit but unfortunately it’s necessary to a successful outcome. Even if it takes a while, making a decision on where you want to get to is the most important step in the whole process.
2. Where are you now?
Once you’ve got an idea of where you need to be, it’s important to know where you’re starting from. If you want to be a rocket scientist and you’re currently a gardener, it might be a bit of a stretch to work for NASA within five years. However, there may be something in your current work that, even if you’re looking for a change of career, might equip you for your desired role.
3. What resources do you have available?
Your resources could be anything from your persistence to a inheritenance from your great aunt to pay for training. Anything that could be considered an asset in achieving your goals is something you could harness to get you where you want to be.
4. What choices are open to you?
Are you able to take a part-time training course and continue to work? Is there an opportunity to shadow other people doing the role you want to do? There are many ways to get what you want out of your career. You need to explore every option.
5. What are the consequences of each of your options?
Once you have an idea of what you could do, you need to weigh up the pros and cons. Packing in your job and retraining from scratch might seem like a brilliant idea until you realise you have a mortgage that needs to be paid. There may be compromises and sacrifices to be made to get what you want overall.
6. What action do you need to take?
With your preferred options in front of you, the next step is to take some action. This could be anything from offering your services to another department to raise your profile to finding out information on promotion opportunities. Get some clear actions, a timeframe to carry them out, and stick to them.
7. Where will you get your information from?
Whatever you decide to do, you’ll need information to guide your decisions. Careers services, the internet, friends and colleagues can all give you information to guide you. However, make sure that you’re checking the reliability of your sources before acting on the information they offer.
8. Who is going to support you?
If you don’t take any other advice from this list, take heed of this one: to get where you want to be, you’ll get there faster with a mentor. Someone experienced in your chosen field will give you the best guidance to achieving your aims.
9. How long is it going to take?
Set realistic goals to achieve along the way. A ten year plan can seem like a good idea, but it’s better to have some clear landmarks along the way.
10. Take time to celebrate
To keep your focus along the way, make sure you celebrate your achievements as you go along. A career is a life-long journey, so it’s important to take time out along the way to appreciate the view.
Whether you know exactly what you want to be doing in five years’ time or have a vague inkling that you need a change, following this process will help you figure out how to get to where you want to be and give you an action plan for getting there.
This article was brought to you by Oaklands College who specialise in equine courses.