Planning your career is an important part of achieving your professional aspirations. When I left university, I wanted to become an HR Director by the time I was 32. And I achieved that goal when I was 29, all thanks to having a clear plan.
Here are some key steps:
1. Assess your skills and interests: Start by assessing your skills, interests, and values. Consider what you enjoy doing and what you're good at. This can help you identify potential career paths that align with your strengths and interests.
2. Do your research: Depending upon where you are already in your career, do your research. This might be looking at different careers, or looking at various paths within your chosen field. Look at job descriptions, required skills and qualifications, and salary expectations. Critically, talk to people who are doing the roles that you’re interested in, ask them what it took to get there, what skills they needed.
3. Set goals: Set specific, measurable, and achievable goals for your career. This could include goals for skills development, job title, or salary. Be realistic, but push yourself very hard.
4. Develop a plan: Starting with the skills and qualifications that you need, the knowledge that you need to gain, the people, organisations and professional bodies that can help you.
5. Network: Build a professional network by attending industry events, connecting with colleagues and mentors, and joining professional organizations. This can help you learn about job opportunities, gain insights into different careers, and make valuable connections.
6. Seek out feedback: Seek feedback from colleagues, mentors, and supervisors. This can help you identify areas for improvement and gain insights into your strengths and weaknesses.
7. Regularly reassess and adjust your plan: Your goals and interests will change over time, life events will happen. It's important to stay flexible and adapt your plan accordingly.
Planning your career is a process, and it takes time and effort to achieve your goals. But having a clear career plan gives you a set of criteria on which to judge every opportunity that comes your way.
Start your career plan today!