Over the past 10 years, I have focused increasingly on my career plan—my short and long-term plans and what I needed to do to achieve my goals. I have seen steady progress since I accepted responsibility for my career and success. But the past five years represent the greatest increase in my progress.
I want to share why I believe this has happened so you can apply what I have learned to your career planning. Hopefully, you will use this information to help develop a road map that leads to your success.
First of all, I didn’t learn how to plan my career from any one source. Nor did I learn it from close advisors or from a single thought leader. Rather, it was the result of several years of interacting with mentors and professionals and from reading extensively and developing action plans after extensive reflection. This was followed by application, personal and professional development and the periodic adjustment of my plans.
Even as recent as a week ago, I finished reading #Know the Truth by Gordana Biernat. This is one of the most intriguing and inspirational books I have ever read and I plan to read it again. This book has informed my reflection and reaffirmed many of the concepts I value while encouraging me to broaden my thinking even more.
My conclusions can help you as you develop your career plans—you can take action and assume responsibility for your career no matter what stage you are in and proactively guide your future, rather than be a passive recipient of what may come your way as your contributions enable the realization of others’ dreams.
First, a formula was needed that could be applied at any career stage—a formula that offered guidance but required reflection and action to result in success.
- Professional development
- Managing your reputation
Now why do I believe these are the components of successful career planning?
I had already participated in career planning during my degree programs. I met with an executive coach, gleaned valuable insight from human resources professionals and recruiters and even began sharing what I learned by volunteering as a career coach myself. Over time, many of my professional goals were realized.
However, as my desire to enhance my coaching skills increased, I asked myself, what are the elements included in a framework that professionals can use throughout the life of their careers to position them for success? I came up with the following four:
- Understand your values, talents and interests
- Review your options
- Set goals
- Leverage your strengths
- Explore your interests
- Take action to improve
- Be a source of value for others
- Focus on quality, not quantity
- Connect regularly
Managing your reputation
- Communicate effectively
- Use current technology
- Understand norms
I plan to continue the development of materials focused on these concepts. However, feel free to contact me in the meantime with your questions and experiences by emailing me here.
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