Planning out your career is essential if you want to be successful and love what you do. That said, not everyone is the planning type. That can make it a bit tricky to nail down a timeline of your professional life. If you need a little help, use this non-planner’s guide to career planning to make setting your future goals easier.
First things first — do you actually like the career path you’re on? Research shows that only 56.3% of people are satisfied with their jobs (“Job Satisfaction”). Make a list of the pros and cons of your position, and see which side weighs heavier for you.
If you find the cons list is longer, it may be time to pivot into a related (or completely new) field. If you find your pros outweigh the cons, dig deeper and think about what’s most important to you on your list. This can help you determine the next steps to take in your career.
Everyone has their own unique set of skills. These might be things you picked up on the job, subjects you studied in college, or information you learned while training or completing certifications. Write down as many as you can think of, and then compare them to job descriptions in your field to see how you match up.
Are you qualified for other jobs? In particular, take a look at positions that would be a promotion. If you find you lack certain skills these jobs require, do your best to acquire them. That way, you’ll be prepared to move up the career ladder when a position opens up.
Now comes the hard part for all the non-planners in the room — establishing goals. For any career plan to work, you need to have an end goal set. Do you want to become the president of your company? Do you want to start your own thriving business? These are all great end goals, but you’ll need a few steppingstones along the way.
One method is to plan out a one-year, five-year, and 10-year timeline. In this timeline, have a small goal to achieve each year. Every goal should be leading you closer to your end career goal. Now you have an achievable guide to push you toward victory.
Achieving success in your career can help you find professional fulfillment. And when you take out the time to plan things in advance, it becomes far easier to reach where you want to go.
“Job Satisfaction 2020.” The Conference Board¸ Sept. 2020, www.conference-board.org/research/job-satisfaction/job-satisfaction-2020.