How much effort do you put into planning your career? Is it a well-thought out, regularly reviewed plan that integrates life and family plans? Is it something that you don’t give a second thought?
We consider career planning an important tool towards achieving your long term life success.
Gone are the days of having a job for life; today’s world provides lots of opportunities and possibilities for having a series of careers through our lifetime, working where, how and when we want, whether via employment, freelancing or running our own enterprise.
A career is an occupation, profession or job role requiring specific skills and training undertaken for a period of your life with the opportunity for progression and growth. With training, personal development and experience, it is possible, and quite normal, to start a new career or evolve your current career.
A career could be taken over the length of one role, but it implies progress and development. A successful career means different things for each of us, based on our own purpose and motivation. It may be achieving a certain income level, enabling a particular lifestyle, attaining a certain professional level or a combination of all these. Our notions of success may change over time as our circumstances change (e.g. on becoming a parent, when our children leave home). What does a successful career mean to you?
We recommend taking a 3-step approach to creating a career plan:
1. Create a Career Mission
Where do you want to be in your career in 3 – 5 years?
What do you want to achieve in the long term – in your career and in your life?
2. Develop a Career Strategy
How are you going to achieve your career mission?
How are you going to get there?
When are you going to achieve it by?
3. Set your annual Career Goals
What are the specific goals that you need to achieve, this year, to contribute to your career strategy?
What do you need to do and by when?
Who do you need to help you and what other resources do you need?
Once your career plan has been developed, we recommend that you break the annual goals down further into quarterly actionable tasks. This could be researching and organising specific training or development activity, developing specific relationships, identifying projects that will give you specific experience, gaining new clients or a promotion, changing your hours of work or the way in which your work.
Once you have broken down your career plan to the level of quarterly tasks, return to your career mission, strategy and goals – can you clearly see how achieving this task will contribute towards achieving your annual goals and fulfilling your longer term career mission? If not, the task needs changing. At the end of each quarter, review how you are doing against your annual career goals.
For working parents with school-age children, termly tasks and review may make more sense than following a quarterly schedule, setting up reviews for the start of the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms.
Career-Mums help parents through career transitions, with our Relaunch your Career coaching programmes.
BONUS: join our Career-Mums Club – a free Facebook group – to access a printable sheet “Career Planning to set Annual Goals” to help you plan your career.
Contact us for any further support with planning your career and career transitions.