Career Management Part 5

#5  Step by step method in career plan development that supports the career management program

There is no magic wand or formula for career success. What you need are constant efforts and insightful strategies.  Career management is an ongoing process that can help you administer your learning and development plan. The benefits are many.  One is that it periodically provides for reflection on your interests, values, skills and preferences; It also checks on the alignment of the work with your personal circumstances.

After all, you are a company of one.

You must be proactive in starting and maintaining your plan.  The best time to start? Now would be a good time.

It is important to remember that the career planning process is an iterative one. You may have to go back to the beginning, or to any phase, at some point in your life as you reinvent yourself.  Get this now.

There are four basic steps

Step 1:  Who and Where Are You?

In my coaching practice, I always start from the “inside out”.  It’s important to know what a person’s values are now (not what they should be).  After all, every decision that we make is based on a set of values.  Congruency of values makes up much of the “chemistry in a hiring situation.  What are your skills? Skills come in two categories: natural and acquired (obtained through experience, training and education). You should identify what you enjoy doing in your current position and what skills you have mastered.  And list the parts of the job of which you are no longer a fit. I have always thought that with mastery of an acquired skill, can job burnout be far behind? (there is nothing new to learn or develop). Then comes goal setting.  Where would you like to be professionally?  What do you want out of position?  What will you need to learn or develop to obtain your goal? What are your preferred company cultures that you thrive in?  This may sound like a “wish list” but take to step 2. We are about to test the hypothesis.

Step 2: What is possible and what is probable?

We all know about the definition differences between possible and probable.  OK, possible anything can happen and probable says there is a good chance mathematically that it will happen. We now have the “wish list”. We must now do a “reality check”.  That is, we know must face the “realities” of your plan.  It is important to now get the facts on what it will take to get you to your goal.  It helps us decide what is probably and what is possible.  At your local library, you can secure information about your target:  duties and responsibilities, pay range, experience and skills required for the position, and what the future trends are for the position. You can also do internet searches using the title in addition. But, I highly recommend that you also talk with people doing the job now and ask: what do they like about their position and what do they see as challenging?  What advice do they have for you?  They should validate what you have already the way of credentials. What can they recommend what you need in the way of experience, knowledge, training, etc.?  It may be that there is an intermediate position you could take quite easily as a stepping stone to your goal. By the way, this exercise is a powerful networking tool.  After all, you are seeking out people for their opinion which is highly complementary vs. asking for a job.  You can circle back later and tell them that you are.  Job shadowing has become popular as well. You now come away with more in formation and have narrowed your options.

Step 3: Making Decisions

This step involves comparing your options, narrowing down your choices and thinking about what suits you best now.

What are my best work/training options?

How do they match with my skills, interests and values?

How do they fit with my current situation and responsibilities?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each option?

What are the barriers (money, time etc.)?

Step 4: Action

Here you plan the steps you need to take to put your plan into action.

Begin by asking yourself:

What actions/steps will help me achieve my work, training and career goals?

Where can I get help?

Who will support me?

At the end of this step you will have:

a plan to help you explore your options further (e.g. work experience, work shadowing or more research); or a plan which sets out the steps to help you achieve your next learning or work goal.

Decide which step is relevant for you right now and start from there.

UP NEXT:  looking at some strategies

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