It’s hard to look into the future and know where you should be in five years. Certainly, you have goals for your career, but is five years enough to achieve them? Don’t get dismayed. Use this guide to plan out a reasonable and motivating five-year career plan that will push you to achieve success.
It Should Have Short-Term Goals
A five-year career plan isn’t all about defining the end goal. It’s also about marking all the smaller goals along the journey. Saying you want to be the director of your department in five years is a good goal to work toward, but it will be hard to achieve without stepping-stones. Short-term goals keep you focused and on task instead of always looking on the bigger picture.
It Should Offer Ways to Keep Learning
You’re not going to get anywhere in life if you don’t commit to lifelong learning. That’s why you should build career-based education opportunities into your plan. According to Brian Tracy, author of the motivational book Eat That Frog, “[y]our ability to expand your mind and strive for lifelong learning is critical to your success.”
Consider going back to school to get your master’s degree, or look into continuing education classes at your local community college. Make time for these opportunities to expand your knowledge both in your field and in general.
It Should Allow for Deviations
Let’s say you’ve spent three years at your current company and you’re burned out. You no longer want to work toward the goal you set for yourself back when you crafted your plan.
That’s OK. Your five-year plan should allow for these types of deviations. In fact, you should define a set review period for your plan every so often to update it as necessary. The plan isn’t set in stone, so make as many changes as you see fit.
It Should Include Specifics
Don’t just focus on what you want your job title to be. Write down the type of person you want to be in five years. Include skills you’d like to master, accomplishments you’d like to achieve, and weaknesses you’d like to overcome. You might even want to create high-level and ground-level lists featuring some more general goals, as well as specific ways to achieve them.
Your five-year career plan is all about you, so in the end, it should be organized in a way that inspires and motivates you to achieve your goals.
“Define Your 5-Year Career Plan.” GetSmarter. https://www.getsmarter.com/blog/career-advice/define-your-5-year-career-plan/.
Connors, Christopher D. “How to Create Your Five-Year Master Plan.” _Medium._13 Mar. 2017: https://medium.com/personal-growth/how-to-create-your-five-year-master-plan-471f57d7b964/.