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Whether you are looking for a change in direction, continuing on a similar career path or planning for your retirement, it is always important to have a plan to keep you motivated and on track to help you achieve your career success. Creating a career plan involves taking time to reflect, creating a timeline, and setting goals for your career development and should be something you regularly revisit.
Here are 5 strategies for building a career plan:
The key to successful planning is having a long-term vision. It might be anything from changing career, securing a promotion, or preparing for retirement. Having a clear idea of where you want to get to and where you are now, is the best place to start. It may help to visualise what the end or long-term goal is and start working backwards. Don’t worry; your vision may change over time but right now it is important to think about where you want to get to and the steps you will take to get there.
To help you to create your vision you will need to take stock and conduct some reflection and self-evaluation. Start by assessing your interests, skills, values and strengths. Consider what you enjoy doing, what you're good at, and what's important to you in a career. Identify what motivates you, your preferred environments and roles. It may be helpful to reflect on your career to date to do this.
To look at the right opportunities for your next career move, you need to identify your career priorities. A career priority is something important to you that forms part of your job. It could be linked to salary, industry, lifestyle or the hours you work. Your career priorities may change over the course of your career so it may be worth considering what is important to you now and in the long term too.
Research different careers, industries and job roles that align with your skills, interests and priorities. Consider talking to contacts in your current network, but also consider new networks you may need to be a part of. Look at LinkedIn profiles of professionals with a similar background to identify career paths they have followed. Exploring job boards and reviewing job descriptions is another good way to gain a better understanding of roles and requirements to help determine any skills gaps or qualifications required. Once identified, you may want to consider ways to close any gaps and how to acquire those skills through training education or professional development.
After undertaking some reflections and research you may be in a stronger position to set some goals to support you as you work towards your long-term vision. Your goals should align with your self-reflection and the direction you want your career to take. You may want to set clear short-term (1-2 years), consider medium-term (3-5 years) and think ahead to long-term (5+ years) career goals.
The GROW Model is a simple yet powerful framework to start establishing and evaluating your goals as you embark on your journey to achieving them. GROW is an acronym for Goal, Reality, Options and Way forward. Regularly checking your goals and progress can help build momentum.
Remember, a career plan should evolve as you gain new experiences, skills, and insights about your preferences and the job market. Be flexible and open to adjusting your plan if necessary. Sometimes unexpected opportunities or changes may alter your original path. Consider alternative routes that can still lead to your desired career goals. Regularly review your progress towards your goals. Assess what's working well and what needs adjustment. Make changes to your plan as needed to stay on track and reach your objectives.
Renovo is the UK’s leading specialist provider of outplacement support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org