Designing Your Career Plan
You have done the research, dug deep into what interests you, and have discovered what is exciting, challenging, and geared in a direction that you would like to go in. Now comes the hard part, how do I put my plan into action?
The usual steps in creating a plan is to break it down into manageable parts and achieve each step one at a time. This works, but if you have ever experienced a sense of spinning your wheels or having a difficult time getting started, then you know that having manageable steps isn’t the complete answer.
As we move our goals into reality, there are several resources available to us that we can draw on to bring our goals into reality. Maria Nemeth, in her book titled Mastering Life’s Energies, discusses the roles that money, time, relationships, creativity, physical vitality, focus, and joy play in achieving your hopes and dreams:
In looking at a career change, certainly during this economy, money is a primary driver. As a coach, the steps to address this topic would be to look at your bottom line-financial responsibility. What do you need to earn in order to support yourself and/or your family? Obtaining a clear financial picture allows you to begin building upon what type of income you need to generate.
Time is a finite commodity. If you have discovered a career that would require a time investment (such as going back to school), there can be questions and concerns such as how to balance all of your commitments or if going back to school is even a viable option? Having a clear financial picture will help you to determine if going back to school is an option. We all have the same amount of time; the question is what do we do with the time we have? In looking at the other resources available to us, perhaps we can draw on those resources to help us create the time needed.
In creating a career game plan, relationships play a primary component. In creating your plan, look at who can support you and what role they can play. Perhaps your family or friends can support you and provide opportunities where you would have a block of uninterrupted time that would allow you to work on your job search or study if you are attending classes.
Creativity plays an integral role in developing your career. In looking at your financial budget and time investment, what would you need to do in order to address these two areas? Perhaps your work schedule provides you flexibility in allowing you to go to school. Or would working a part time job give you the flexibility you need in order to go back to school. What options exist that would allow you to generate the support, money, and time needed for this undertaking?
Your health (physical vitality) is an underlying resource that we all sometimes take for granted. We demand and push our bodies to do what we want to do with little or no understanding of what is needed to be successful. We tend to run on too little sleep, not enough exercise, and unhealthy eating habits. A career change requires strength and will and without a sense of health, we will easily be overwhelmed. It is important to put your health first and in taking care of ourselves we will be able to meet any goals and challenges that come our way. If someone asked your body about the type of treatment you gave it, what would it say?
Focus allows you to accomplish tasks with intention. Rather than looking at the overall goal and perhaps feeling overwhelmed, another option would be to create small turtle steps that move you through your plan and allow you the possibility of focusing on just that one step that is in front of you instead of the whole picture. Just like in the fable "The Tortoise and the Hare," slow and steady will always win the race and focusing on your small, turtle steps one at a time will move you towards your goal without a sense of being overwhelmed.
Last but not least, joy has to be a major component in any undertaking. What good is a plan and accomplishing our goals if we don’t have some joy thrown in? Create small joyous celebrations for each of your small goals. They don’t have to be big, just meaningful.