TOP 5 – How to Plan Your Career

Happening People 2013 As we prepare to welcome in 2013 our thoughts often turn to the year ahead, New Year’s resolutions start to take shape and we feel energised to give them a go!  No matter where you are in your career taking steps to plan your career will drive you further to it then aimlessly wandering through it.

In a recent survey conducted by Happening People found a staggering 68% of respondents did not have a career plan. Whilst some had vague goals they wanted to achieve few had a formalised career plan that mapped out what direction they wanted their career to take shape.

For some the notion of a career plan can seem too structured, a common question when setting out on a career path is ‘how do I know where I want to end up if I don’t know what is out there?  This is a very normal question and surprisingly easy to answer.  You do not need to have the map completely detailed.  Treat your career plan as a work in progress and be prepared to alter it along the way, but remember having ‘a’ direction and moving towards goals is better than having no direction and no goals.

Happening People gives you our Top 5 How to Plan Your Career.

1. Self-Awareness
An honest appraisal of yourself will help set the goals you need to create a career plan.  Think if what you are currently doing is challenging and satisfying you .  Gone are the days where you had one career and did it for the life of your career.  Now it is reasonable that people have upto five different careers (not just jobs) in their career.

2. Goal Setting
If goals are unclear your career path will be too.  Erica O contributor to has this to say about goal setting,  ‘Goal setting for your career is an effective way to motivate yourself, set up a structured game plan and monitor your progress along the way. After determining your long-term goal, break down the path to achieving that goal in small, sizable chunks. Be specific as to what those milestones are and when they should be achieved. Remember to be realistic so that they are feasible, but to still set them high enough to challenge yourself so that you stay motivated.’ For more details on goal setting see our previous blog Top 5 – To Mastering Goal Setting

3. Seek Out Mentors
Mentors are awesome allies in the work place and their close contact with you means they too are focused on your career path.  Their skills and experience often mean they are well placed to guide you through the career planning process and help you open your eyes to skills and strengths you may not have realised you possess.  They may also be able to offer assistance on areas of improvement that once closed can propel you into your next promotion.  For more information on mentoring see previous mentoring blog Top 5- How to be a Great Mentor .

4. Creating the Plan
There is no best way to go about creating the actual plan.  There are however a series of questions that can set you on the path to planning your career; a sample of these is detailed below:
Results: What do you want to achieve in your department or organisation?
Industry: What type of industries appeal to you?
Company: What type of company do you dream of working for? Consider size, culture, reputation.
Passions: What are your passions, what do you care enough about to focus your career on?
Responsibility: What level of responsibility do you want to have?
People: What type of people do you want to work with? Does it matter to you?
Rewards: What compensation (salary benefits) do you seek?
Balance: What type of work/life balance is best for you?

5. Fearless
Travelling the road less travelled can be difficult – be fearless and stay true to the plan even when the going gets tough but don’t be so focused you do not see the forks along the road that might lead you somewhere extraordinary. Dr. Steve Maraboli is the Executive Director of the Michael Thomas Research Center for Social & Behavioral Science in New York and is widely recognized as a leading voice in the fields of Personal Enhancement, Peak Performance, and the Human Potential he says, “You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it fearlessly.”

Let Happening People help you and your people develop your career planning skills.  Our leadership programs address this issue and can focus you on achieving your career goals and in turn organisational goals. To find out more call us on 1800 68 67 69 or visit our website


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