You want your work to have meaning, to give you a purpose, and to continue to challenge you throughout your life. Experiencing growth, satisfaction, and fun while making an income is important. But how do you get all of that? You must have two things:
A short term career planning strategy
A long term career planning strategy
But here is where most people make a big mistake: You can’t make effective short term goals without first setting long term goals. Let’s break down each one.
Long Term Career Planning Strategy
Having a long term strategy to achieve your career aspirations will help you in many ways. You’ll be able to make career decisions more easily. You’ll work with more purpose and fulfillment knowing where you are headed. You also won’t get stuck in a job that isn’t a right fit, because your goals won’t align with what you’ll achieve in a “bad” position.
Sit down and think about big picture questions, such as:
Where do I want to be in 10 years?
What gives me purpose in my career?
What three to five goals would I like to achieve by retirement?
What is most important to me at work?
Do I want to manage a team or work solo?
Write a letter to yourself, describing exactly who you want to be and what it is you want to achieve in your career. This exercise might be awkward at first, but it will help you visualize your future and think through the direction you’d like to go.
Post this letter in a place where you can see it regularly. Read it every month. Adjust it as things change, which can, and maybe should, happen from time to time. Perhaps you start a family or your priorities change as you get older and it affects your long term goals. It’s good to be flexible. Having a long term strategy should guide you, not rule you.
Short Term Career Planning Strategy
With your long term strategy put in place, a short term strategy will be easier to implement. Do the same exercise for short term planning, but adjust the questions slightly. The questions you ask yourself might look something like these:
Where do I want to be this time next year?
What three to five goals do I want to achieve this year?
What small, attainable steps do I need to take this year to get closer to my long term goals?
Write a letter to yourself and place it where you can review it regularly. Since this is a short term strategy, update it every six months to one year. Hopefully you will achieve everything you wrote down, which will keep the momentum going for your long term strategy. If not, that’s OK! Adjust as needed and keep going. Again, this is meant to be a guide to help you reach your long term goals. It should guide you, not rule you!
Let WCG Partner With You!
We would love to come alongside you and help develop your short and long term career planning strategies. Our team of career consultants can help you craft the perfect strategy to achieve career success. We use proven assessments to examine your personality type, interests, and strengths. We align the results with your goals to create a strategy for future growth and development through your current position or a new one. Our career coaching empowers you to flawlessly execute your strategy in any situation! You can learn more about our services and packages available here.