Career Plan: What It Is And Why You Need To Make It Up
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Phrase “job search” makes a lot of people scared, especially when they face it for the first time. They often feel lost, disoriented, helpless, and all may lead to despair, especially when search of work lasts for a long time. In order to make this process faster and more pleasant, best resume creation site offers its online resume services. Any job seeker or present worker (who probably wants to change a job or just to update resume) can order all kinds of services connected to resume building, fixing, formatting, updating, etc. Only professional highly qualified resume writers work on orders of our customers providing them with papers of superior quality. Now we continue sharing useful advice on work search and career growth. This time the advice is going to be about so-called career plan and what it is needed for.
Career plan: why it should be made up
Planning today is called one of the major methods of successful life building. Creation of strict plan allows not only to understand one’s own goals, but also to develop gradually ways of their achievement. As a result, we have learnt to create plans for a day, to set tasks in details for weeks or months and to realize what we want to achieve this year. Nevertheless, we almost never think about building of personal career plan, hoping that everything will turn out on its own.
What is career plan?
Career plan is a step-by-step guide to action, which reflects one’s step towards personal professional peaks. In other words, if one wants to become, for example, head of department in a big company, then at least this person needs to realize what education and what work experience this post requires. It is obvious that it might be necessary to work as an ordinary worker, then probably to get additional education, to get promotion, etc (maybe, soon one will become manager, so, advice on how to be a good young boss leader is required). This very way with corrections and changes is one’s career plan. Creation and owning of such “personal” schedule will help not to go astray and to follow carefully set direction, also, to praise oneself for success.
Instructions for use
Nevertheless, to build career plan it is not enough just to enumerate one’s desires and professional dreams. Everything is much deeper (get acquainted with related resume guidance from hr post).
1. Define aims. It is necessary to realize what a person really wants at a fundamental level. Only suchlike intentions and ambitions can included to career plan.
2. Keep in mind short-term and long-term planning. Yes, one may have far-reaching plans, however, one should be always ready to correct them due to external factors or changes in personal imagination of a perfect career.
3. Evaluate possibilities. It is not recommended to set impossible tasks. Evaluate possibilities realistically. Of course, everything is possible, but creating career plan it is better to base on real life.
4. Act! Otherwise, all plans will remain plans. If one decides to fulfill a point from career plan, then it is necessary to follow it and correct a plan only in case when due to some reasons it becomes impossible to fulfill it.
This is a list of key question, which need to be considered if one wants to make up career plan. Another list of helpful question is here: http://resume-writer.net/blog/ten-questions-to-ask-before-writing-a-resume.
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How to build career plan: expert’s advice
We strongly believe that career plan should be built by a person who will use it. Otherwise, there is no sense to waste time. Ideally, each adult person needs it for maximally conscious and responsible attitude to life, aim realization, regulation of already done work and list of future heights, which one wants to conquer. Additionally, read about ideal job for extrovert.
1) Form a vision. It is desirable that one should have a vision of at least next two or three years. Let it be wide, let is be approximate, but it is required for determining the trajectory, along which one will move. To the east or west, towards team management or towards deepening into technical expertise; in a segment, in which one is a specialist or in a field, which one may only embarrassedly dream about. When direction is chosen (http://resume-writer.net/blog/how-to-figure-out-what-kind-of-job-matches-you-perfectly), more detailed route can be started being built. Here it will be appropriate to proceed with planning of career for a year.
2) Solve a task “with a train”. If follow a very simple algorithm, then career plan building consists of three stages. Let’s take as an analogy a task from a textbook on mathematics. A train has left point A and now is moving towards point B, where it should arrive in a year. What speed does it need to move with so that be in time at point B?
In order to get correct solution, we need to make three actions:
1. Define the exact parameters of point B: where it is and what we want to find there.
2. Before leaving point A, a “train” needs to be carefully examined: evaluate what experience, knowledge, useful contacts one has. It will be kind of fuel reserve.
3. Taking into consideration amount and quality of fuel, it should be determined:
- what stops and when should be made (this will be checking points of train’s route following correctness and its follow the schedule);
- when fuel reserves need to be replenished (what new knowledge / skills, additional finance and time one will need);
- what fellow travelers are necessary on one’s way (people who can help and provide support), post on how to get on well with someone you work with can be also useful.
3) Solve a task “with an asterisk” (advanced task). A task “with an asterisk” is clarification of aims: why one in general needs to get to point B, why exactly there. Also, how to chose optimal or maximum money-saving route. It is also useful to ask oneself how not to get off at one of the intermediate stations, when “train” does not seem that much comfortable or fast as it has been dreamt initially. Everyone can cope with difficult tasks at work, it is just necessary to know how to deal with them.
Following this simple algorithm, a career plan can be created in an hour. More qualitative and deeper processing (an advanced task) may take two or three hours.
4) Always adhere to plan. It is also recommended to set main check-points at least once in six months. More frequent reconciliations of the plan with current situation (once in a month or several weeks) can be also helpful. Read also what wrong choice of profession may lead to: http://resume-writer.net/blog/cost-of-wrong-choice-of-profession.
Career plan is one’s vision of future and personal success. Its correct building can help to avoid undesired problems and delays in professional growth. To make it or not to make is an individual decision of every person. However, time spent on it will be definitely worth it.
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Career plan: worth being made?
For all our professional work experience we have never met successful person, who has not created plans in one form or another. On the other hand, a lot of plans remain plans because they look nice on paper, but in reality it turns out to be difficult. It means that not all factors are taken into consideration, consequently a plan remains on paper only. Also, we can often hear such an opinion as: “In our country everything is unpredictable, there is no point to plan something”.
So, what is the point? Let’s try to figure out. Let’s make it clear what can be considered career plan and what not. Career plan is a document for personal use, which defines what and when a person wants to achieve in career. It can be built for a year, for five years, ten years or even bigger period.
Who needs it? Ambitious young people, who want to reach their career aims on maximum in time, definitely need it. Key word here is “in time”, because correctly built career plan helps to be focused on important without wasting time.
What does it consist of?
In career plan there should be necessarily defined and in following order:
1) Significant parameters
2) Future visualization
3) Inspiring aim
4) Steps to aim
5) Creation of supporting environment.
Each point is essential. That is why let’s consider each separately.
1) Significant parameters. Career plan should be begun with determining of significant parameters in one’s career. This is the biggest reference point, which helps not to lose one's course and be focused on the most essential things, such as reaching the top of the career. In this case, everything that has been disturbing, depriving powers, “eating” time will disappear from one’s path.
2) Future visualization. Before reaching desired future, it is very useful to imagine it first. Imagining future with the help of special visualization technologies, we, in fact, allow it to be brought to life. Such visualization like a lighthouse will allow to realize our aims.
For example, this step everyone can make on one’s own by making a small exercise. Choose a place for visualization, sky or an empty piece of wall next to ceiling. Imagine for a minute the best option of ten point occupation (work) on a scale of 1 to 10. Then, answer these questions:
- what would it look like?
- what would be around?
- what would you do?
- what could you do?
- in what two-three words could you describe yourself?
Also, it is necessary to image for whom else such occupation can be important or useful. Now let’s continue discussing career plan structure.
3) Inspiring aim. Correct formulation of aims is also essential, because aims that inspire and bring energy have chance to be brought to life. That is why each words or even order of words in how career aim is being formulated is important.
4) Steps to aim. There are not small insignificant things in steps planning, because one’s unique life, which cannot be relived, is at stake. That is why it is so much important to check all “loose places” of a career plan before starting to implement it. Not only list of steps should be composed, but these steps should be checked “for durability”, i.e. how much realistic they are.
5) Creation of supporting environment. Last necessary element of career plan is measures on supporting environment creation. It is very important to create “support team” of career. If people around give support, then person will more quickly and easily reach results, like a sailboat sailing with a tailwind. It will be especially helpful at the moments of temporary decrease in enthusiasm and unfavorable circumstances.
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So, it all seems simple and clear, one just needs to sit down, create career plan and implement it. However, major minus of such independent career planning is not that people do not know what to do, the point is that they know but do not do (read related post and stop procrastinating work now). For example, several paragraphs above, we have described simple and effective technology of future visualization (other effective strategies are here: http://resume-writer.net/blog/top-5-personal-effectiveness-strategies). Have you done that exercise? If yes, we are truly happy! If no, do not worry, this is also okay. Excess information can just paralyze sometimes. The more one will read about how to build career, the less probably one will act. There is very high probability to “drown” in information sea trying to find grains of useful knowledge. Value of professional help in career plan making is to help a client to structure what he is already aware of, wants and feels into a harmonious system, to help in making correct decisions and to inspire to start acting instead of complaining about the vicissitudes of fate.
Mistakes in career planning
Above we have described in details why written career planning is required in general and what stages it consists of. However, working with clients we often face at least two common erroneous beliefs, which prevent from reaching high results. These beliefs can prevent from creating career plan at all, what is a big mistake as well.
Here are two seemingly reasonable ideas: “The future is unpredictable in principle” and “People do not know in fact what they want”. However, there is a risk to come up to completely unproductive conclusions because of these ideas. So…
Misconception #1: “Future is unpredictable. There are so many unpredictable and accident things in life that career planning is senseless”. Yes, we cannot know the future. Each of us can remember plans or prognosis that have not happened. We live in a really mysterious world. Albert Einstein once said: “Universe in not more weird than we suppose, it is far weirder than we can imagine” (additionally, list of top odd jobs is presented). That is why career planning should be based not on one, but several scenarios of events development, including actions on prevention of undesired situations. At the same time, it is very important to preserve Hardness in wording of a real aim and flexibility in steps and ways towards this aim reaching.
Misconception #2: “Man’s desires change, so why something should be planned in career if in a year or two our aims will not interest us any longer?” It means that imagination of future may change and it really changes with time. Does it mean that one should not make plans at all? No, of course, not. The most valuable in career planning is not only final result, i.e. plan itself. The biggest value of career planning is in its process of consciousness increase, conscious studying of one’s career and discussions, which accompany these processes. Career plan can be and should be revised and changes should be made in it.
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Why career plan will double one’s success?
Agree that no one wants to work for entire life having same salary, when gained experience and knowledge is not taken into consideration. In such a way, motivation for learning and work results improving disappears. Really, why should one do something if there is no reward?
Plan of career growth was invented to make people interested in how to build their career and improve quality of their work. Fact of systematic advancing according to plan can give a person powerful motivation for future achievements. Besides, career plan allows to see way passed and its results, what is also a great stimulus to continue career building.
Expectations from work: how to define direction of activity?
Time management has such a rule: correct pre-planning prevents bad indicators (more about time management: http://resume-writer.net/blog/allocate-work-time-wisely-or-biggest-time-management-errors). In any case, correctly built plan is 50% of success from beginning to its reaching. Career is a very long-term event, which will determine course of life for many years ahead. That is why it is so much important not to be mistaken when setting goal and creating career plan. No one has idea how much time is spent on thinking about what to do right now and how to act in this very situation when plan is absent. So, if getting bored at work, think about further steps in life.
According to one of the world leading business coaches correct planning saves 50% of time in any task implementation. Before start career planning, answer the following questions (think over answers carefully, because choice of work direction is really important, keep in mind that job helps to recover, so think it twice):
- In what profession I want to start career building and why?
- How much is profession demanded on labor market?
- Am I satisfied with payment on this post / in this profession?
- What would I like to do day to day and what are my expectations from work?
- What my interests will be useful for working process?
- How want I to spent my perfect working?
- What should be done to meet my expectations from work?
- Who can help and support me in career building?
- What will I ideally be in five years? How much will I earn? What post will I occupy? etc.
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Career building stages
Education choice. Here it is necessary to realize clearly what for one is going to study, what education course will give, what communication circle one wants to be in, in what sphere career success is desired (here is our advice on how to succeed choosing creative job). Before entering an educational establishment, one should make sure that educational program is really competently made and will give firm knowledge on subject.
Fixation of new knowledge on practice. It is necessary to use knowledge got on practice. Except planned internships one needs to find other possibilities for trying professional activity. It will help a candidate at once to stand out among other candidates, who prefer to spend time resting and having fun.
Workplace selection. It is harder for specialists without experience to find suitable workplace that is why one needs to start doing this before graduation. Priority attention should be paid to workplaces, where one may get long-term, not short-term occupation.
Continuous learning is important stage of career building. Rule “Long live, long learn” suits best of all for successful career building. One of the most important recommendations of modern business coaches is daily review of educational materials on one’s profession, books reading, seminars and courses attendance. Take it all into consideration creating daily work planner.
Here are several pieces of advice, following which gives great superiority over competitors:
- Every month review and correct plan of career building;
- Use each opportunity and possibility to look for new professional meetings for career building and creation of useful contacts;
- Not to let work take all free time, plan not only career, but also personal life. Make a circle with sectors, which define work, rest, hobby and family, and then plan actions in all these spheres (read related industry specific resume post). Only in this case our life will be full and will not make us workaholics;
- Each week allocate time on watching educational videos, seminars, master-classes of people, who have already reached success in one’s field of activity (http://resume-writer.net/blog/you-have-reached-the-top-in-the-work-to-stay-or-to-leave). Learn from their experience;
- Every day allocate time to literature reading on profession and watching educational materials;
- Make us much as possible contacts with people in one’s or related professional spheres.
If one follows these rules, then soon there is a high possibility to become a highly paid employee of a company (read about relationship “Employer-Employee“ here), because meanwhile one studies hard, spends time on career planning and qualification improvement, other workers probably drink coffee and chat. If one needs success in career, it is necessary to start acting now (though, here is a piece of advice on things to do tomorrow). Start with career growth planning!
All tips presented above are really working and approved by specialists of recruitment field. Following them will lead everyone to desired results. Besides, these tips combined with professional assistance of our experts will give not only amazing but also really fast result. Order any service on our site, get personal bonus and make sure that we are responsible for what we say. Help of expert team with wise use of given information is a direct way to success!
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