Strategic career planning often conjures up groans when I talk with my clients. They think it is complex, a pain to do, and not necessary since things change so quickly. So often in our careers, we just wind up in a job that carries us forward year after year. We don’t often pause to think about creating a 5-10 year career strategy. From time to time, it is critical though, to take stock of your career and assess where you want to be in the future. A career strategy will get you from where you are today to where you want to be in several years.
To start your career planning, establish 5 year and 10 year time frames. Ready to get started? Below are eight key questions to ask yourself. I recommend writing down your answers so that you get a clearer picture and keep it on hand so you can review it every six months to monitor progress.
- What’s Your Career VISION? This is a statement of what you will be doing in five and then ten years from now? It should paint a picture of the impact that you will make through your work. Your vision statement should inspire you.
- What’s your DEFINITION OF SUCCESS? Everyone’s definition is different. Is it wealth, power, contentment, fulfillment?
- What are your VALUES? These are the guideposts for your life that you want honored at work. Things like integrity, respect, security, family, independence. Everyone has their non-negotiable values list.
- What are your STRENGTHS? Think about what you do at work that makes you lose track of time. That’s a sign that you are using a strength which is the combination of talent, knowledge and skills. You will want to do more of this.
- What would be your ideal LIFESTYLE? Are you able to do all the things you would like to do in your life? Maybe it is having a family, going on exotic vacations, owning a home, exercising daily.
- What is your COMPENSATION progression? Put an actual number down for both the 5 and 10 year plan. Think BIG!
- What is your WORK/LIFE BALANCE? Do you care if it feast or famine, would you prefer a flexible work arrangement, is it 9-5?
- What’s your LEGACY? At the end of your life what do you want to be known for – it’s your personal Brand. How will you make a difference?
Get inspired by the great quote by Yogi Berra: “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” So, take a stab at your strategic career plan and see where it takes you.
To Your Career Success,