If you’re pondering how to get where you want to be – career-wise- you need a career development plan.  Many people do not put this plan together because it requires some thinking and some self-analysis.

So, to make this process as easy and painless as possible, follow these three steps:

Step 1: Figure Out Your Goal

You cannot create a career plan without career goals.  Goals are sometimes hard to establish because they occur in the future and (quite honestly) they can change.  Break down the process by asking yourself these three questions:

  1. Where do you want your career to be in two years?
  2. Where do you want your career to be in five years?
  3. Do these goals make sense for you?

By breaking entire career down into easily-digestible “chunks” you are better able to see possible synergies within your timeline. Do you have different goals at different points of your life?  Can you see the possibilities of transitioning from a short-term goal to a long-term goal?

Step 2:  Can you Get There?

Can you achieve your 2-year goal based on where you are at right now? Can you progress to your 5-year goal based on your 2-year goal?  To find what gaps need to be filled, locate some actual job descriptions for your future job to see what specific skills and experience are needed.  Rate your current skillset, education and experience to what is listed and then identify all the items where additional career development is needed.

You may have the needed skills, you just may need to “beef them up” a bit.  For example, you may need a particular certification or additional project management responsibilities.

Step 3:  Create Your Plan

Now you know your goals and what you need to do to achieve those goals.  To begin planning, first look for natural steps….where you might need to do “x” before you can do “y”.  Make these higher priority items, since they need to be achieved first.

Research the various ways to get the skills, knowledge and information you need.  Once you know how to gain this information, you will get ideas on how to tactically approach them.

Next, add some deadlines.  This holds you accountable to your career development plan and provides a much needed timeline.

Finally keep track.  Revisit your plan semi-annually to stay focused and remind yourself of missing or next steps.

Goals change, careers change, life changes. Career development is an ongoing process; it should not rest on the back-burner until you become disengaged and actively begin your next job search.  With a little bit of planning and thought, you can control your career and achieve great things.

At Job Store Staffing, we can assist in this development.  If you are looking for your next opportunity in Colorado Springs, send your resume in today.  We look forward to hearing from you.

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