Have a long-term career plan

Some people know what sort of work they want to do from an early age. Others don’t decide until much later. However, it’s always a good idea to think about which direction you want to go in. Do you want to become a consultant? Is your goal to be a specialist in a technical field? Do you see yourself as a leader? Are you inclined to be a freelancer? Would you like to start your own company? Perhaps you aren’t quite yet sure what you want to do. Nonetheless, you can still consider your career goals and take steps in the right direction.

Here are three points to think about:

  1. What’s your dream? In terms of your career, where would you like to be ten years from now?  
  2. What will it take? Think of practical steps you could take to get closer to your dream.
  3. What can you do today? Of all the steps you can take, what can you do today to get started?

When you write down a dream, it becomes a goal. When you break a goal down into steps, it becomes a plan. A plan supported by actions becomes reality. Without a plan, all you have is a wish. Put together a long-term plan with short-term steps. Try the exercise below:


Step 1: What’s Your Dream?  
Imagine yourself ten years from now, at the peak of your career. Where do you want to be? Imagine that at this point you have reached your full potential. Visualise your situation as vividly as you can. Use your imagination to see where you are and what you are doing.


Step 2: What Will It Take? 
Break your main career goal down into a series of smaller steps, each of which gets you closer to your goal. What can you do that will take you in the right direction? Having thought of at least one or two steps, don’t waste any time. Take action immediately. Ask yourself what you can do today


Step 3: What Can You Do Immediately?
Write down a practical step you can and will take either today (or at least no later than tomorrow). You could try chatting to someone in a senior position, downloading helpful articles or signing up for a course. Whatever step you decide to take, do it at once if you can. Don’t just think about it. Take action. 

Do you see how quickly you can start to turn your dream into reality? You looked ten years ahead, thought of practical steps to take and then made some plans — including at least some positive action you can take straight away.

Topic: The Leader In You, Motivation Mastery