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Five Steps To Creating A Winning Career Plan

There are times in our career when we are at a crossroads. Some of us actively seek our next step, while others wait for the next step to come to them. Whether you need to make a change in your career now by choice, or by default, you'll need a plan. Without a plan, expect to be like a leaf on a tree, going not where you want, but where the wind takes you.

Don't let the bad news around you keep you standing still. Create a plan and work on it everyday. You may not reach your goal as quickly as you'd like, but you will get there if you keep working at it.

So, How Can Do You Create A Winning Career Plan? Follow These Five Steps:

  1. Describe What You Want

    You cannot get what you want until you can describe what it is. Create a detailed description of what is important to you in your career. What do you see yourself doing if there were no perceived obstacles in your way? Do not screen yourself or get bogged down with logistics. Give yourself the freedom to brainstorm. This may not be a quick exercise, and it may be frustrating at times, but it will give you a strong foundation to build on.

  2. Explore Your Options

    What did you learn from Step 1? Did you discover that you described something you have been thinking about for a long time, but are uncertain where to start? Did you come up with a few possible career choices, but are unsure which one to select? Did you come up with a few ideas, but nothing concrete?

    Take your ideas and turn them into real career choices. Begin with research. Get on the Internet and read whatever you can. Start talking with people who are doing what you would like to do. Ask them how they got to where they are, and what you can do to follow in their footsteps. Use contacts you have today or people you don't know yet. Go for it. What do you have to lose?

  3. Create Your Game Plan

    Once you have your description, and the exploratory process is complete, it is time to go after what you want.

    Here are three steps to put into your plan:

    a) What Do You Want? Example: I want a new job, want to change careers, make more money, or enhance my attitude.

    b) When Will Your WHAT Be Achieved? Example: 3 months from now, 6 months, etc? Be specific.

    c) How Will You Get There? Take what you gathered from the exploratory process and put these steps into your calendar. You have already found out what you need to do. Now, it's time to make it real.

  4. Implement Your Plan

    This step is about keeping the momentum going no matter what. Set daily, weekly, and monthly goals. Strive to meet them. Persistence and forward movement is what will help you reach your goal.

    Reach Your Goal

    This is the step where you get to applaud yourself for all your hard work and effort. You get to be proud of what you accomplished. You made it. Acknowledge yourself for being uncertain and going after what you wanted anyway. Not only did this process build character, it also brought you what you want.

Congratulations on discovering that you can handle anything that comes your way.

- Deborah Volkman

Deborah Brown-Volkman, PCC, noted career coach, and best-selling author of several career and business books works with Senior Executives, Vice Presidents, and Managers who are looking for new career opportunities or seek to become more productive in their current role. Do You Dread Going To Work On Monday Morning? Visit www.surpassyourdreams.com to discover Deborah's complimentary career action tips for making Monday the best day of the week.