Career planning is not a one-time activity – at least not if you want to be happy with what you’re doing over the long term. You need to create – and then possibly recreate – career goals that work for you. This should be a liberating and fulfilling experience, whether it results in growing within your current organization or transitioning to a new professional path.
Where will you be in 10 years? And more importantly, will it be the right place for you?
Make career planning an annual event.
Just as you would schedule an annual physical or dentist appointment, find a day (or weekend or longer, if necessary) to hold a career self-retreat. Remove any other distractions and focus solely on where you’re going and what you really want out of your work.
- Map your path since your last planning session. Don’t dwell on it, but use it to your advantage as you look ahead. Have you been happy? What might you do differently?
- Reflect on your likes and dislikes. People change. Something you loved three years ago may no longer be as satisfying. Take time to really think about the things in your life – not just your job – which you feel the most strongly about. Make a list of your likes and dislikes. If job-related items fall mostly in the “like” column, you’re on the right path. If not, it’s time to being examining new career options.
- List your needs related to your career. Understand the motives that drive your happiness and sense of success. For example, do you want to make a difference? Be famous? Achieve financial independence?
- Examine your pastimes and hobbies. This may seem odd, but often a person’s leisurely pursuits provide great insight into future career plans. The artist Paul Gauguin was a successful business person till encouraged by a painter to take a serious look at his hobby and turn it into his paid livelihood.
Create goals around your ideal life.
Think about the kind of life you want to lead. Then consider how you can apply your greatest strengths to putting these dreams into action.
- Your career should be about making a maximum impact by using your best skills in a fulfilling environment. If you’re someone who works hard, adds value and is a person others want to be around, your career opportunities will be abundant.
- Write it down. Turn your goals into fully-formed sentences. This transforms seemingly random thoughts into something you can actually work with. Once you know the life you want, you can begin to know which people, companies, jobs and side interests will best move you toward it.
Answer these questions.
To pin down you strengths and value-adding qualities, ask yourself:
- In what way do I want to contribute?
- What do people appreciate most about my work?
- If my boss were to recommend me, what would they say?
- What would I want them to say?
- When was I happiest at work recently? Why?
Then write down the answers that help describe your ideal work life:
- Where do you work?
- When does your day start and end?
- Who do you for and with?
- What does your work area look like?
- Who appreciates and values what you produce? How do they show it?
- What do you do in your free time?
The professional recruitment team at PrideStaff Fresno can help you improve your life by taking your career in the right forward direction. Contact us today to learn about available opportunities and resources to enhance your planning strategy.