Where do you want to be in your career at the end of 2021? It can be difficult to think about strategic career planning in the midst of so much uncertainty. Aside from the current uncertainties due to COVID-19, if you are a mid-career professional and not completely happy with your career, this can leave you feeling stagnant and unfulfilled. But the truth is that no one should or has to feel unhappy in their career. You can have a job you truly enjoy. This is why we recommend having a career plan despite the current challenges. This allows us to continue to grow and align our career choices with our long-term goals, leading to greater fulfillment in our careers.
We work with clients everyday helping them with their career plans, and we want to share three things you should include in your career planning because we truly care.
Your final destination. When creating your career plan, it’s essential to think about where you want to be in 10-15 years from now. What would your dream position look like? Has your vision changed since COVID-19? Is what you pictured no longer practical with the changes to the workforce? Take some time to identify or modify what your final career destination looks like and from there you can work backwards.
Networking. When creating your career plan, make sure to include a reasonable time for networking during your week. Many professionals recognize the importance of networking but don’t make the time for it. This doesn’t have to take up too much time, even just 15 minutes per week can help you stay connected with your network. Make sure to also include making new and meaningful connections in your plan from time to time, such as one connection per month. Block out time for networking on your calendar each week to help you stick to your goal.
Updating your marketing materials. Your marketing materials are documents such as your portfolio, your branding statement, your resume, and your LinkedIn profile. As you reach certain career milestones and goals, your marketing materials should reflect those. We recommend reviewing and updating these materials periodically to make sure they accurately represent you. It’s also easier to update them while your accomplishments are fresh in your mind. For example, take advantage of all of the sections on your LinkedIn profile to showcase your skills and accomplishments. Make sure your picture is current and your headline reflects your career direction.
Don't look back in six months and wonder where the time went. Creating or modifying your career plan will take some time, but it’s well worth the investment.