In a fast-paced, constantly changing working environment, it is easy to lose focus of where you are heading. A career plan ensures that you maintain your vision, drive and motivation.
These are just a few key steps that we think you will find helpful in enabling you to maintain that vision.
If you close your eyes and focus, where do you see yourself career wise? This may change throughout your life, but if you have a goal that you can visualise and that sits well with your values then you will be better able to maintain that drive and ambition. You want a goal that you hold no doubts over. You should be able to visualise yourself in that role and feel a sense of satisfaction and contentment from pursuing that role.
Do not compare your journey with others. Whilst it is great to see how similar individuals have followed through with their career ambitions and plans, it is not healthy to focus too much energy on the lives and careers of others. After all, we are all unique and the way in which we navigate situations and circumstances can be very different. Whilst you may not be conscious of it, it is very easy to fall into a negative thought pattern when you compare yourself to someone else. We tend to overemphasis the ‘highlight reel’ of others; we don’t see the hard work, blood, sweat and tears that has gone into their dream. Therefore, be realistic. Focus on where you are now and what you can do to achieve your end goal.
Look to delve into this exciting journey with your whole heart. Your career is a huge part of your life so make sure that this is something you truly want to do!
Participate in online discussions, attend talks/seminars, find a favourite podcast to listen to and get connected with an inspiring mentor. It is all about gaining that exposure and understanding of whether it is something that you truly want to pursue!
Furthermore, regularly set aside time to research new opportunities and to keep up to date with your field. You can keep up to date with a few key newsletters from companies or organisations that specialise in your chosen field.
Ultimately, seek out opportunities that will give you the vital experience that you need to push your career forward.
Regularly make time for reflection. Check in with yourself to see how you are feeling. Don’t be disheartened if it doesn’t appear to be working for you or if it is something that doesn’t appeal to you completely. Make time to go back and assess your values and reasons for wanting to pursue a career in this field. Grab a coffee with a friend or trusted person and discuss how things are working for you. Be honest and ask for their insight. You can also ask your mentor for support. They will be able to best advise you and give their expertise and insights. It will not be simple but the challenge should be something that you want to embrace.
Ultimately, career planning is a continuous process. It is not a one stop solution; career planning tools are designed to focus your thoughts and ideas into tangible steps to accomplish your career objectives within an achievable timeframe. Have an overarching aim but know that the smaller stepping stones can and will change. Remember to review your progress and make necessary alterations along the way. Embrace the challenge. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free career planning workbook to help you plan your career.