5 tips for managing your career plan
What is a career plan? It’s a written plan, which explains where you are in your career, what your goals are and specific steps you can take to achieve these goals. Here are five tips that will put you on the path to career progression.
1. Identify your goal
Whatever your goal is, it should be specific and measurable. Many people make the mistake of focusing on career expectations instead of defining a career plan. But, to quote writer Lewis Carroll, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you.”
Identify your main career goal and write it down in writing. Be introspective and precise when defining your ambitions. Is your goal to access a managerial role in your current business. Do you want to evolve into a more specialized area.
2. Define your starting point
You must know exactly where you are before deciding how to reach your goal. Make an honest assessment of your technical and non-technical skills. In what areas are you excelling? What aspects of your work are you most passionate about?
Also, even if it is certainly a less enjoyable exercise, examine your weaknesses in the magnifying glass. Is your effectiveness diminished by a lack of skills or bad habits. Is the absence of professional certifications a hindrance in your case.
Be honest about your strengths, your weaknesses, the things you like and dislike. This self-assessment helps you identify your long-term goal and allows you to determine how to achieve it.
3. Ask about your goal
Inform your boss of your areas of interest and ask for his or her input and assistance. Is your career plan aligned with his or her top prospects for you? Can he or she advise you on training opportunities or confide in you about the most ambitious projects that will prepare you for the position you’re targeting? Are there ways to reach your goal that you didn’t think of?
Obviously, it’s advantageous to work for an employer who introduces you to possible career developments and helps you move to the next level, but there’s still no less than you need to stay on orders. A good idea is to try to find a mentor.
Mentors provide you with ongoing support, objective feedback, real-world knowledge and networking boards. If your company doesn’t have an official mentoring program or if you’re seeking a position externally, ask a member of your professional network whose opinions inspire you if he or she would agree to help you.
4. Set milestones
A very ambitious goal can sometimes seem daunting and inaccessible: in this case, break it down into a series of more modest objectives. Define clear and precise objectives and steps and set deadlines for achieving these intermediate goals.
For example, if you want to become a department head, the main steps could be to do leadership training or resume studies to obtain an MBA. You can also try to obtain a leadership role to the local group of a professional association.
When you reach a milestone, take the time to think about it and savor your success. Giving yourself the knowledge of your successes throughout your evolution allows you to maintain your energy as you approach your ultimate goal.
5. Maintain your determination
Any journey worthy of the name is likely to confront you with difficulties and path errors. When you fall over an obstacle, stay focused and continue on your way. Professional development requires not only planning, but also willpower and discipline. Focus on the lessons learned from your setback and continue your efforts!
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