Figuring out what you want to do with your professional life – and what you want to get out of it – isn’t something to be taken lightly. And your career definitely isn’t something that will just “happen” with little to no planning or preparation on your end. But that doesn’t mean plotting out your career goals needs to be all that difficult, either. In this article, we’ll explain how to create a plan for your career that will enable you to spur your professional life into action.
1. Make Short-Term and Long-Term Plans
Perhaps the most overwhelming part of thinking about your future career is the idea that you absolutely must know where you want to be in five, ten, or even twenty years.
Yes, you certainly do want to put some time into figuring these things out – but you shouldn’t think of them without considering context. In other words, you don’t want to tell yourself that, in X number of years you’ll be in Y position without considering what it will take for you to get there.
So, in addition to setting these long-term goals, make sure to set short-term ones, as well. While your long-term goals will be more like accomplishments, your short-term goals will be in terms of attaining the skills and abilities that will get you where you eventually aim to be.
In thinking of your short- and long-term goals in tandem, your overall career goals will begin to seem much more realistic and attainable.
2. Know How – and Why – to Go About Following Your Plan
Of course, putting a plan together without actually doing anything about it renders your initial efforts meaningless.
But before you actually do anything, you need to figure out the most effective way of doing so. For example, if your plan is to become professionally certified in a specific field, you need to determine the steps you’ll need to take – such as completing coursework, workshops, and certification tests – to make it happen.
And, again, you need to understand why the steps in your plan are essential to your overall goals. While this might seem like an obvious step in the process, ignoring it will almost certainly lead you down the wrong path – leading to wasted time, money, and energy that could set you back indefinitely.
3. Revisit and Amend Your Plan
As we said, it can be overwhelming to think about where you want to be in even a few years, let alone twenty or thirty.
And even if your goals haven’t changed, the manner in which you can achieve your goals may fluctuate based on societal standards, technology, and many other factors that are completely out of your hands.
In any case, you should from time to time revisit your career goals to determine if they’ve changed at all, or if the process of reaching your goals has changed at all.
Additionally, you should assess your progress at regular intervals, as well. Even if things are going rather well, take an objective look at where you currently are, and what you’ll need to do to stay on track. Conversely, if things aren’t going as well as you had hoped, figure out how to change course immediately before you get too far off track.
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Chances are, your career isn’t going to work out exactly as you had planned – and that’s okay. As long as you keep your mind on what needs to happen next, you’ll continue moving forward, both in your personal and professional life. If you are looking for a new job, check out these new jobs or contact us today!