What makes a brilliant career? Years of hard work, an expanded professional network, a bit of luck and, of course, effective career planning. Although it is a controversial question whether you need to create a strict career plan, without the plan at all your career will likely be going nowhere.
Whether you are a recent graduate, a mid-career professional or someone who is looking to make a radical change of career, the plan helps you identity the steps you need to take to reach your long-term goals. Moreover, once you’ve created a plan, you need to revise it and make corrections as you progress and develop your skills. Our resume writer services explain how you can benefit from effective career planning.
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Reasons why you need a career plan
If you still hesitate whether you should plan a career or not, here are the arguments for career planning:
- Career plan prevents you from getting stuck in a dead-end job
If you are ambitious enough to aim for a CEO position one day, you realize that it takes a range of promotions to get to executive level. And, in today’s economy, it’s you who needs to take care of your own promotions. You need to make your ambitions clear for the management, constantly perform well and work on developing your skills, maybe in your spare time.
The plan with deadlines set helps you understand where you are on your way to a goal and avoid getting stuck in the entry-level position. That is, if you’ve been in the same role for some time and still no room for advancement, you’ll likely search for other job that will help you grow professionally.
- Career plan will show you areas for improvement
Every of us has weaknesses and moments of underperforming. A career plan will help you identify and improve the qualities you lack in. For instance, you’re an accountant who has an ambition to become an independent consultant one day. However, for this you will need outstanding people skills, self-organization abilities and learn the basis of running your own business. If one of these skills need improvement, it’s better to start working on it now – because if you are not working at getting better and better at what you do, sooner or later you can lose.
- Career plan will boost your confidence
If you don’t know where you are going, it’s likely to give you a feeling of anxiety and discomfort. As soon as you define and write down your goals, it will give you a sense of purpose and motivation for moving.
Tips for effective career planning
If you’ve never written a career plan before, you might start with reviewing your resume where your background and skills are already structure and systematized (by the way, check the pros and cons of making a resume online here: http://resumeperk.com/blog/pros-and-cons-to-make-online-resume)
- Identify your areas of interest
A good career should be something you truly enjoy doing. So, start the planning with listing things that you really enjoy doing. Some career experts also recommend that you divide the sheet into two parts and list both likes and dislikes. Then, examine your current career to find out whether your areas of interest match it. If no, it’s high time you’ve changed your career direction.
- Review your past accomplishments
If you find it hard to identify what you’re best at, a review of your accomplishments from the past might help. Career experts recommend that you keep a record of your achievements to include them in your resume when necessary. However, the list of accomplishments can help in career planning as well. As you look back at your previous successes, one of them may trigger researching and planning a career shift.
- List your soft skills and transferrable skills
Want to change career but think it’s too hard to start from scratch? Well, you probably won’t have to. The skills you’ve already developed probably translate to other jobs or even industries. All you need to do is to identify your strongest skills, including soft skills, and then think how they can be applied. You’ll be surprised at how many career opportunities you can discover.
- Research career and job trends
In the internet era, world of work changes rapidly. So, when planning your career for years ahead, make sure that your occupation will be in demand and paid well. Moreover, you need to put up with the fact that things may change and you’ll be looking for a new career path in a few years.
- Write down your long-term professional goal
If you want to become a CFO, outline it in your career plan. Then, break your major goal into smaller steps and write down the milestones that will eventually lead to your primary goal. If your purpose is to achieve a specific position, you can specify the names of position you’ll need to obtain, the training to pass and maybe the companies to work for.
Writing a career plan can seem tough at first, as it requires you to reconsider your inner motivation, goals and be honest with yourself. However, in the long run, it’s the people who had a career plan that reach professional success.
Cons of writing a career plan
Despite the fact that a career plan is your map in the world of work, it has a few disadvantages.
- You can’t be sure about the future
Let’s assume that you’re a graduate who wishes to work his way up to an executive position in operations management. Even if you create a very detailed plan, you can’t predict the future. Things in the world are changing, as well as you are. Maybe, this kind of job won’t be in demand in 15 years from now. Or, in two or three years you might realize that this job isn’t something you’d like to devote your entire life to.
- Career plan won’t save you from uncertainty
For many of us, sticking to one type of career is a way to avoid the uncertainty. However, the times when a job equaled stability have gone. Today, you need to adapt to demands of the market and change jobs without knowing for sure where it will take you. If you want to develop and grow, you might know that the best opportunities are outside of our comfort zone. So, you need to get used to trying the unknown things if you want to succeed.
- You can’t create an accurate plan for years ahead
Even if you are sure with your career direction, it’s impossible to know for sure which steps you will need to take and what sort of skills you will need. Moreover, you might find out that some of the steps are not necessary to take or the job will require you to pass an additional expensive training. If you create a strict plan, it can restrict you rather than help you move up the career ladder as you might miss some opportunities you didn’t document.
Career plan needs to be reconsidered from time to time so you could check your progress and make corrections if your plans have changed.
It’s time to realize your career ambitions!
Career plan is an excellent tool in reaching your long-term goals in life. However, don’t take it too seriously – it’s just a roadmap to where you’d like to be, not the strict action plan. So, whether you’d like to become a travel blogger, a CEO or to join a startup (learn more about reasons why it’s a good idea to join a startup here: http://resumeperk.com/blog/reasons-to-join-a-startup-from-best-cv-website), a career plan will help you outline and realize this goal.
One thing you will need to speed up your career progression and land jobs faster is a well-written resume. If you aren’t happy with the one you already have, consider contacting resume experts for assistance. Our professional resume service works with clients of all career levels to create unique, up-to-dated resumes and cover letters that best reflects their skills. You can benefit from it too – at a fair price, you’ll get your documents written in as little as 24 hours.
Have you ever written a detailed career plan? Did it help you in reaching your professional goals?