Tips for Achieving Your Career Goals with a Five-Year Plan
You go to your job every day and you perform the required tasks, but is your job just that—a job? Do you want more? It can be so easy to conform to the ritual of a day-to-day job that you lose sight of your goals and stifle your career growth. Where do you want to be in three to five years? By thinking ahead and developing a career plan, you can make sure to maintain the right mix of experience, skills, and training to ensure that your career remains challenging, stimulating, and rewarding. Here are a few tips for building a five-year career plan.
Visualize the Future
Envision your career future in your mind. What does your career look like in five years? What are your forecasted needs and wants to achieve career (and life) satisfaction? What level of responsibility and compensation do you think you’ll desire? What type of work and industry do you think will experience growth in the future? You must take into account industry and economic trends to help accurately envision your career evolution.
What experience, core skills, and training to you currently possess? Which skills need further development to reach the next level in your career? Which skills or experience do you lack? Perform a thorough self-assessment of your professional skills and abilities. The more honest you are with yourself about your strong suits and weaknesses, the more effective your career plan will be.
Break it Down
Once you’ve envisioned your career future and evaluated your professional attributes, break long-term career goals into a group of smaller tasks and benchmarks. Where do you want to be a year from now to support your five-year plan? What certification or training will you tackle first, for example? By segmenting your plan, you’ll secure quick wins and build strong momentum toward your ultimate goals.
Write it Down
You’ve thought about the future. You’ve determined your strengths and weaknesses. You’ve broken down a few long-term goals in your mind. Now, it’s time to define your plan on paper. Document the companies and organizations you’d like to work for, positions that interest you, and the key steps you’ll need fulfill to hit your targets. In prior blogs, we’ve discussed writing your job search goals down to keep you accountable and on track; the same goes for long-term career plans. Writing your career plan down, in detail, will push you to remain active and allow you to review your progress and make course corrections.
Some people are content to simply work a day-to-day job, and that’s completely fine; others have bigger career dreams. If you have specific career aspirations, developing a clear five-year plan will set you on the right path toward achieving your goals. Get organized. Get motivated. Get going!