Even if you are blissfully happy in your career you should always be thinking forward about an exit or growth strategy so you can be in control of your career destiny. Ken and Scott Blanchard wrote a great piece in Fast Company about the wisdom of the career plan and why you should have one
“Leadership expert and colleague Warren Bennis once said the best leaders are the ones who balance action and reflection. This requires pedaling hard at times–but don’t be afraid to occasionally get off your bike, stretch your legs, and look around. Simply taking some time to reflect will often make your next action step clearer.” As written by team Blanchard.
Here is their four-step resource checklist that can help you as you develop your “PLAN.”
P stands for People and Praise. Find people you can discuss your career with. Reach out and surround yourself with people who will give you support, honest feedback, and encouragement along the way. Who can you add to your career development team?
L stands for Learning. Open your world and identify resources that will keep you growing. Look inside your work world by exploring online courses and other training and development opportunities. Look outside work for special experiences that can broaden your horizons. What’s a new experience you can add to your resume?
A stands for Assessment. Assess your current strengths, weaknesses, and value in relation to your career possibilities. Are there gaps in your current skills or experience that need to be addressed?
N stands for getting past No. Design strategies for dealing with negative situations such as rejection, obstacles, or failures. Few careers proceed exactly as planned. Failure isn’t fatal and setbacks will occur. How can you build resiliency into your plan to help you learn from negative experiences and move forward?
Take some time to evaluate where you are right now. The most successful people maintain a focus on the present and on the future. Experience the joy and value in doing a good job on a daily basis, but remember that most people will work for several different organizations over the course of their careers. Make sure the actions you take today are helping you move in the direction you eventually want to go.
So many people get caught up in the casual momentum of their career that years go by without any room for growth or new opportunities. Take control of your career destiny and develop your plan. You deserve it!