Almost everything we do starts with planning. Can you imagine a wedding, or building a house or going on an overseas vacation without planning? To achieve a high level of benefit and overall satisfaction all these and many other life events require a high level of meticulous planning.
It’s clear to get the most out of an event a level of planning must be undertaken. The effect and risk of failure is what really drives the importance of planning.
Career planning is commonly thought of as working hard in your career and good things will happen: you’ll get the promotion and the accompanying increase in earnings. This idea is only part of what a good career plan really is.
Moving ahead in your career also requires planning. It goes beyond a road map. Planning will highlight important mile posts along your career journey. And, importantly your plan will keep you on the right road without getting sidetracked from your overall career objectives.
The heart of a good plan is the method to oversee your career progress. A well designed plan for your career helps you understand you progress or lack of progress. It guides you in building your strengths, expanding your skills, monitors your abilities and watches over your unique talents.
Designing a well thought out plan will show you what career opportunities, both internal and external, are available. It will spotlight your chances of taking advantage of new jobs and new careers.
The keys to successful career planning are your proactive actions in building your skills and knowledge. If you have a gap in your skills or a new opportunity shows on the horizon your plan will give you the tools to build your skill set. In addition, your plan will point you toward added opportunities to systematically build your strengths and skills.
Any good plan has built-in methods to assess your progress toward your overall career goals. For example, if you find you need to add to your skills to update your abilities to work with new software or systems your career plan will have signposts to gauge your progress in completing the required training and experience. Of course as you observe new skill building opportunities, you must remain flexible and adjust your interim goals as appropriate.
Once you build your overall career goals into your career plan you can gauge your activities and training in a more objective and productive manner. Decisions regarding your career or a proposed career change will now be made based on a full range of objective evidence and not at some whim or snap decision.