Christmas is past, a year is behind us and many of us tend to look optimistically into the new year. Aside from the typical “I will exercise more; I will lose ten pounds; I will finish my degree”, you may want a new job, a new career in 2014.
I’d ask you “Do you have a Career Plan?” The most common response I hear is “Well, no but that’s a good idea. Where do I start?”
Don’t fall victim to “Ghosts of Jobs Past” (sorry; I couldn’t help myself from recalling the ghosts of Christmases past as described in the famous Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
Even though you may have not reached your career goals or have even had some negative career experiences, you can wipe the slate clean, just like Scrooge, and pursue a new life and, in this case, a new career. “Start with the End in Mind”
was the mantra that Stephen Covey professed in his best seller 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and it rings true for designing and executing on a Career Plan.
What’s your One Year Plan? Imagine it is next year at this time.
What would you like to be doing?
Where would you like to be working?
Who would you like to be working with?
How would you like to be using your strengths and talent?
And WHY? That’s a good starting place to start your plan.
Start with the end goal and work backward, writing down a roadmap to include the steps or milestones that will take you to that place and in order to reach that goal.
After researching what the job/career is and knowing what is required, in terms of education and experience, ask yourself if you have the resources, time and commitment to make a change. Then research as much as you can in order to make an informed decision.
Here’s a real scenario
A client of mine had a desire to serve the senior population and hoped to be in an administrative capacity. He was working for the federal government in an analyst role and had an MBA as well as some volunteer experience in a hospital during his high school and college years. He wanted to help others and was not fulfilled by his job of 5 years. Here’s what his plan looked like:
GOAL: to be employed as administrator of an assisted living facility within one year. He knew that many jobs are filled by job boards but even more are filled through networking within the industry.
- Month 1
- research Linked In and other resources for positions and study the key words, responsibilities and requirements
- Identify transferrable skills already attained and optimize existing resume
- Complete Linked In Profile and include keywords from desired position
- Month 2
- Join Linked In groups related to position and engage in discussions
- Network via Linked In with people already in the field or desired organization
- Month 3
- Obtain at least 50 Linked In connections
- These include potential employers and recruiters
- Engage in conversation via email or Linked In to develop rapport and learn more about the profession
- Identify professional networking groups and attend meetings
- Explore volunteer opportunities related to desired profession
This is only a three month plan and is fairly aggressive given that the client was working full time; however, he was driven to succeed.
RESULTS: He was successful in meeting all these goals and has some interviews as manager trainee in an Assisted Living Facility as well as in a hospital setting.
Depending upon your goal, your plan might require more time or less time. To ensure your success, make your goals S.M.A.R.T. and celebrate each milestone you achieve.
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I am a CAREER NUT! It’s my passion! I have over 25 years’ experience as Human Resources Manager in Fortune 200 companies. I’ve made selection and promotion decisions as well as coached professionals to their career success. I’d love to discuss your career success.
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