Without a plan, people tend to job hop and sometimes follow the money without understanding how their choices impact their careers. When you develop and commit to a career plan, you identify the experiences and knowledge necessary to achieve your long-term goals. Bottom line is that career advancement is directly dependent upon proper career planning. Always remember, success in planning is planning for success!
Here are some helpful tips for successful career planning:
Identify Your Long-Term Career Goal.
Did you know that you literally advance your career just by answering the question Where do you see yourself ten years from now? Identifying your ideal job is a giant first step towards creating a career plan and successfully reaching your goals! The next step is acquiring the skills and experiences necessary to get the job. Lastly, remain committed to your plan until you reach your goal. (See Tip #5 if you have trouble pinpointing your ideal job.)
Be proactive in advancing your career.
Being proactive will accelerate the advancement of your career. Let your manager know what you're interested in learning and how you want to shape your career. Do this and you may find yourself getting promoted into jobs before they become public and available. Only consider opportunities that are in line with your goals.
Give priority to advancing your career.
Pass on the temptation to accept a job offer that boasts more money, but lacks growth opportunity. Select companies that give preference to promoting their best employees, rather than searching outside the company for new recruits. One way to do this is by asking if the position that you are interviewing for is open due to a promotion or an internal transfer.
Consider contract and temporary assignments.
Contract and temporary assignments are excellent ways to broaden your experience, skills and network of associates. If you're looking to change industries, for example, moving from banking to high tech, consider a contract assignment. And as an added bonus, these assignments often offer flexibility in your personal life.
Where do you see yourself ten years from now? is a question that can elicit a deer response and has people feeling like they are without purpose and vision if they don't have an answer. Seek out a mentor in your desired field, hire a career coach, network with others in your industry or work with a recruiter who offers to assess your long-term career goals as part of their service. A great recruiter will keep your goals in mind and will only present positions that match these goals.