As you celebrate the Christmas season and New Year and reflect back on 2016, how can you turn 2017 into a year of on-going career success? By creating a career strategic plan.
Someone once said, “Success is the intersection of preparation and opportunity.” Achieving success requires more than luck, more than hard work – it requires a plan. Here’s how.
In the mirror. Begin by seeing yourself as a competitive product. Take inventory of your strengths, weaknesses and differentiators, and then challenge yourself by facing any weaknesses and making improvements. What books can you read or seminars can you attend to improve your professional skills?
Define your career aspirations. If you don’t know where you want to go, how will you get there? Take time to clearly define your aspirations. Where do you want to be in your career in three years, five years, 10 years?
Get to know the competition. Competition is a fact of life. How do your skills stack up against others? Understanding your competition will help you determine your advantages and shortcomings, and help you decide on the actions you need to take to better compete by improving yourself. Strive to be your best by understanding yourself and who you are competing against.
Identify your goals and create your plan. Goals reflect what you want to accomplish to improve yourself and to continue moving forward in your career. Like using a roadmap to arrive at a destination, goals ensure you are headed in the right direction and will achieve your aspirations quickly and efficiently. They are the steppingstones to your career aspirations.
Don’t wait to get started. There’s no time like the present. Don’t let fear of the unknown hold you back. Career strategic plans, like ideas, are effective only if you implement them.
Celebrate your successes. Don’t wait for others to shine a light on your accomplishments. Give yourself encouragement and rewards (a movie night, a special dinner, new outfit) to help provide motivation and inspiration as you continue on your path to accomplish your career dreams.
As the old saying goes: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always be where you’ve always been.” Make 2017 the year to change what you’ve been doing by daring to dream – and then creating a plan of action that will help you achieve your career aspirations. You can do it!