How to learn to plan your career? Plans and strategies to achieve success

plan your career

How many times have you thought about changing jobs? If you believe you are the only ones, do not worry: a large number of workers think, at least once in their life, of changing their profession and trying to establish themselves in a field different from the one in which they operate. If and how much this choice can be convenient and really difficult to say a priori, but it is also true that dedicating some time to planning one’s career is a good way to start off on the right foot.

First, those who are looking for a new job need to make plans that allow them to understand if the choice they are making is the right one. Ask yourself if your employer allows you to move in a context that you like, if the environment in which you live every day is stimulating and you assess what goes and what is no longer good for you. Think of having to create a sort of bridge, that is, of a means of communication between your current work and what you want to find in the imminent future.

This article was designed for those who want to plan your career with guidelines, both long and short term.

Short-term career planning

A short-term career planning operation focuses on a period ranging from a few months to one or two years. To distinguish this type of planning from the long-term one is not only the time but the type of objectives that could be set: it is, in fact, realistic, ambitious but moderate goals.

When you are about to begin to plan your career, take a break from your work and calmly analyze all the possible obstacles you might encounter in a new profession or once you get the promotion you hope for. Ask yourself: what are the actual obstacles I have to overcome? Are there any personal barriers I must try to overcome, such as lack of stimulation or my laziness? Are there family-type obstacles, such as the pain I caused my loved ones with a possible departure to another city? These are questions that ask for a precise answer, even if not immediate. The trick, in this case, is to give the right weight to each choice: try not to put too much pressure on it but to respect your times and also plan based on the different changes you will experience …

To help you with career planning, there are some exercises you can do when you have the time and the desire to question yourself deeply on some really important issues. Here is a short list …

1) Analyze your current lifestyle and imagine the future one. Are you happy with your current lifestyle? Do you want things to stay the same or do you think a change is necessary? Would the path you are following allow you to get the lifestyle you want? Set some key features of your lifestyle (e.g. affections, home, car) and imagine how they could change.

2) Make a list of what you like and what you don’t like. What kind of activities do you prefer to do at work or in your spare time? What do you prefer to avoid? Make a list of everything you value and what you perceive as a sacrifice and then think about your current career path and what you would like to do: How much your profession would allow you to give space to your passions and avoid what you don’t want to do?

3) Reflect on your passions. Think about the situations in which you feel most comfortable and the various challenges you can’t wait to face. Make a list of everything you like and think about how much and how your work allows you to perform certain actions. For example: Do you love traveling? Does your current job allow you to do it or does it force you to stay in the city all year round? And the job you would like to do?

4) Consider your strengths and weaknesses. Take a step back and observe from the outside: What are your winning features? What are your Achilles heels? Think about your work experience, your education and your education: why should they hire you or welcome you to a new company?

5) Define your idea of success. What would you like to get to feel really top? A luxury home? A beautiful car? A united family?

6) Think about your personality. Are you an extrovert or introverted person? Do you like to reflect or act? Do you prefer to be in contact with people or behind a desk?

7) Remember what your dream was as a child. Are you exactly where you wanted to be when you lived with your parents and were carefree? What should you do to be able to say that you live a really full existence?

8) Evaluate your current situation. Before you can make any changes, you must be aware of what you have achieved and what you will leave.

After doing these exercises, the next step will be to imagine yourself in the coming years: create your own clear mental image and visualize it when you want to motivate yourself.

Step for proper career planning

1) Find your next move. If you have evaluated different career paths, restrict the field to those that really meet your expectations

2) Do detailed research that will allow you to fully understand what the rights and duties of your future job would be

3) Identify the qualifications necessary for passing the level you want to take or for the new career, you want to take. If you are unsure, ask your employer or the HR manager of the office where you want to apply.

4) Compare the qualifications you already have with those required for your future job. How different are they? Could you get the rewards you miss in a short time? If yes, you could try to apply. If not, it would be appropriate to change the target.

5) Develop a training plan. What qualifications should you get and within what deadlines? Fill in a list of goals and deadlines, giving priority to what your employer requires.

Long-term career planning

Long-term career planning usually includes objectives to be developed over a period of time ranging from 2 to 5 years. Being a longer time frame, it is easy to understand how planning is more difficult: we live in a world that is constantly changing and, even from a professional point of view, finding the best way to make forecasts about evolution of the context in which it operates is not easy. A similar type of planning is the one that young people and university students might think of that, due to their still precarious condition, should understand what employers are looking for and act in order to obtain the required qualifications of the market. Here are some examples of the points to follow.

Acquisition of fundamental skills in the workplace such as the ability to work in teams, the predisposition to listen, the management of even very complex projects and total autonomy in solving problems. These are ideal characteristics for a typical employee and can be useful even and above all to managers and self-employed workers.

Identify trends in the professional context and ask how we can prepare for changes in the labor market. The ideal would be not to lose sight of short-term career planning, revealing oneself ready to change skills and goals.

One last tip

For all those who are looking for a new job or a first job, the best advice cannot be to prepare a detailed curriculum and to have the constancy to update it, whenever it is necessary. In the eyes of an employer, an employee who is attentive to his or her career and is ready to obtain new qualifications or enter new business realities can only be a good choice. With the right premises and a certain desire to do, every worker will be able to get the position he wants and climb the peak to success!

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