In a recent Eat Your Career community poll, there was a resounding request for more information on career planning. As always, your wish is my command!
One of the first questions I always hear around the topic of creating a career plan is this: “Do I really need one?”
If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, it can be tempting to put this task on the back-burner. After all, isn’t enough to just know you want to be successful? Isn’t the simple goal of staying gainfully employed a worthy aspiration? And, if you continue to show up and do your job, won’t you naturally progress forward in your career?
In my experience, that’s just not how it works. I firmly believe that everyone needs a comprehensive career plan, regardless of experience level and future ambitions. The workforce is a highly competitive place. If you’re goal is just to “keep up,” you’ll ultimately fall behind. Progress is not a given. You have to work for it.
What is a Career Plan?
For those who don’t know what I mean by a career plan, here’s a simple description:
A career plan is a written document used to define and prioritize goals and professional development activities. It is also referred to as a Professional Development Plan.
Why is a Career Plan Useful?
The process of creating a career plan is, in my opinion, as beneficial as the finished product. There are several reasons why this exercise is useful. Here’s how it breaks down:
- Writing inspires clarity
- Clarity inspires commitment
- Commitment inspires action
- Action inspires growth
- Growth inspires motivation
Let’s look at each step in more detail. [Read more…] about Do You Really Need a Career Plan?