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PostHeaderIcon 3 Steps to Creating Your Career Plan

The year is almost half way done. Where are you in your career goals? You probably made some plans for your career when the year began, but have you remembered to check in on yourself? Maybe you’ve accomplished some of your goals. Maybe you’ve updated and changed some of your goals based on your job circumstances. Maybe you’ve completely forgotten about them all together. That’s okay. It’s not too late to make 2013 your best career year yet. If you’ve fallen off your career path, now’s the perfect time to get back on track. With a little planning, dedication and a lot of hard work, you can really set yourself up for success. If you’re ready to get back to it, use these three steps to resume your career planning.

Step 1: Create an honest assessment of your current career

You probably spend a lot of time thinking about your job. You think about the tasks you have to do. You think about the things you really hate doing. You think about the things you wish you could do. Use those thoughts to formulate an assessment of your job role that will help guide your career path. Ask yourself a couple questions to guide your assessment: What does my current job role entail? Where had I hoped to be within my company at this point? Where had I hoped to be within my career at this point? What aspects of my job role do I enjoy? What aspects of my job role could use a little work? Is my current company/job role doing something to help me reach my goals? What am I doing to reach my career goals?

When you answer these questions openly and honestly, you can begin to re-establish your career goals and adjust your career path as needed. If you’re off track, make goals that will help put you back in line. Set achievement goals that will help you along your path.

Step 2: Seek assistance

There is no shame in asking for a little help sometimes, especially when it comes to your career. More than likely, you know someone who has gone through something similar to you in their career path. Use these people as resources as you plot your own path. Ask for advice from peers and colleagues that you look up to. Find people that are in roles similar to roles you aspire for and pick their brains about their job and what steps they took to get there.

Another great area to get assistance in is feedback. We all like to think that we’re pretty aware of our strengths and weaknesses, but that’s probably not the case. Start seeking out honest and frequent feedback from your superiors and peers. This feedback will not only help you clarify which areas you need improvements in, but may also highlight some strengths that you didn’t know people appreciated.

Step 3: Act on your plan

You can’t just think; you must do. Goals are pretty useless if you don’t have plans to accomplish them. All your career assessments and planning will be for nothing if you don’t have any ideas on how you actually intend to achieve the goals you set for yourself. Maybe your goal is to get a promotion. What do you need to get that promotion? If it’s further training, sign up for the appropriate classes or certifications. If you need some leadership experience, start taking the initiative to lead tasks and or be a resource for your other team members. These actions will help you not only stick to your career path, but will also help you keep moving along towards bigger goals in the future.
Career planning is an important part of achieving your goals. If you’re willing to put in the time, you can create an excellent career path to success.

Andria is a content writer and career guidance expert for Minneapolis based company, Benchmark Learning. The company specializes in IT training, business training and career training center. Being in the training industry for more than 25 years has helped lead Benchmark to the top of the training industry.

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