Creating a Clear Path to Success!

Are you where you want to be professionally? Have you reached a fork in the road or feel like you’re going around in circles when it comes to your career? A little direction is probably all you need. Why not create a career plan that lists your goals, assesses your development needs and outlines a strategy? It’s an excellent way to kick start your career and get you back on track.

A career plan can take many forms, and much depends on where you are in your professional life. Are you a new grad just starting out or a seasoned pro looking to re-ignite a passion? Are you hoping to climb the corporate ladder in your current company or itching to step outside of your comfort zone and explore a new industry? No matter where you’re headed, having a well-thought out plan to guide you will help you establish a clear path to success.

Follow these five steps to create a career plan that will work for you:

1. Evaluate Where You Are / How You’re Doing
Spend some time taking stock of where you are in your career. Be honest as you evaluate your areas of expertise, interests and strengths. Are you happy in your current position? Do you see potential at your company or are you getting restless?  Are your skills still relevant or do you need to update them?

2. Put it in Writing
When creating your career plan, it’s important to put it all down on paper – or on your computer or in your phone. However and wherever you choose to do it, make sure to have a visual reminder of your goals and objectives. Keep it accessible so you can refer to it and keep track of your progress on a regular basis.

3. Use Your Network
Whether it’s talking to someone in a field you’re curious about or putting out feelers for new job opportunities, your network is an excellent resource when it comes to planning your career. Attend an IAW Local Chapter meeting and network online with members outside of your local area. Reach out to your network for job advice. Ask for career guidance from more senior colleagues and acquaintances.

4. Don’t Go It Alone
If the prospect of setting and achieving professional goals seems too daunting or you’re just not sure which direction you want to take, consider working with a career coach. Hearing from a professional who can be more objective about what you’ve accomplished and what you need to work on is sometimes just what you need to get motivated about making positive changes in your career.

5. Monitor / Review Your Progress
Now that you’ve made a plan, be sure to regularly monitor how you’re doing. If achieving the goals and objectives you outlined is taking longer than you had hoped, don’t be discouraged. Slow and steady progress is key. Make minor adjustments in your career path if you’re facing too many obstacles. Remember, be flexible, stay positive and keep forging ahead…you’re on a clear path to success!

We want to hear from you! How has a career plan helped you achieve your goals? Why do you think it’s important to have one?

Please leave your comments below and be sure to take our poll. When you’re done, keep the conversation going on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest!

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