Updated: Jan 21
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Is your career plan working for you, or is it just making you feel a whole lot of pressure? If you're looking for ways to feel more positive and passionate about your work, without feeling restricted or sacrificing your personal life, you're in the right place!
This article will help you refresh your career plan to achieve results that are meaningful to you. Here you'll find the 3 things you need to know to give you a clear vision, a focussed mind and some further guidance. We'll cover how to:
Let's get started! Watch the webinar, or read the transcript below.
Step 1. Create A Vision and Find Your Focus
Create a vision for your career
Career planning starts with creating a vision for your career. This means getting really clear on what you want to achieve, the impact you want to make, the kind of work you want to do, and how you want to feel while doing it. This is something you do for yourself; it’s an act of self-love. It helps you get clear on where you want to go and what steps you need to take to get there.
Having a clear vision of what you want your career to look like is important. It will help you identify your passions, strengths, weaknesses, and how you want to feel on a daily basis. It will also help you evaluate new job opportunities and decide whether they are a good fit for you.
Find your focus
Once you’ve created a vision for your career, the next step is to find your focus. Focus is important because it allows you to take control of your task list. If the pandemic taught us anything, it's to reject 'hustle-culture'. The answer to achieving success isn’t to work harder or longer hours!
It's not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials. -Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee applied this idea to his martial art and his life—moving towards simplicity of movement, thought, and being. It’s about cutting away everything that isn’t essential, and restraining our impulse to keep adding on and accumulating.
Fundamentally, what we know, is that if you’re able to focus your mind on a single point, life becomes a bit easier to handle. I know you have a hugely busy life and massive to do list, but remember: Successful people take things away, they don’t add things in. This is a really important distinction. In order to achieve what you want, you need to remove everything that is not related to that thing. Removing the distractions, the time wasting, the energy sapping, taking those things away, not adding additional items. Keep ONLY the things that move you forward towards your vision, always closer to what you want.
This kind of focus allows you to devote energy necessary to achieve what you want.
Let me illustrate...
Let's illustrate this concept of focus. Psychiatrists use this to test how many things a person is taking in at one time. As you look at the following optical illusions, first notice the movement. Then, focus your eyes on a single point in the middle of the image. Don't allow your eyes to stray.
Notice, does everything slow down, or even come to a stop?
Focus on ONE POINT in this image, and everything else will slow down, or even come to a stop. These images highlight a simple fact:
The more focused you are, the more primed you are to achieve the the result you want.
Now, why is this important...
Chances are there’s a lot going on in your life right now.
We need a device, a tool, a technique that you can use that brings your mind to a single point. This technique of intentionally focussing on your vision setting is probably one of the simplest techniques you’ll ever learn. Yet to this day, I’ve found it to be one of the most profound resources a human being can have. This is because of two reasons:
Your mind expands what you focus it on. Intentionally setting your focus does in fact help to train the mind. And in doing so, it allows your mind to know what to look for throughout your day. You’re subliminally working in the background to keep yourself on track.
A person who focusses on what they want will achieve it. Here's an example: Have you ever woken up, read an email first thing with a concerning issue in it, and for the rest of the day that’s what you focus on? It’s just the way the brain works, on a fundamental level. Your will find more and more energy and devote resources to that thing you're focussing it on.
So, the first step to creating your Career Plan is to focus clearly on your vision.
Step 2. Identify Your Strengths
The second thing to bring to mind when formulating your Career Plan is your unique strengths.
If you want to move forward in your career, it’s important to identify both your strengths and weaknesses. This will help you to know what career paths are a good fit for you and where you can make up for your weaknesses. In order to identify your strengths and weaknesses, it’s important to know yourself well enough. This means knowing your personality type, your core values, and the type of relationships you thrive in the most. Find out your core values and how they fit with the work you do. Find out which type of relationship works best for you. What are you most talented at, where do your skills lie, and what areas of passion and interest are specific to you? These are the activities that make you truly thrive.
For your career to be successful and fulfilling, you need to build it around your natural strengths, skills and areas of genuine interest. The things that come so easily to you, you think, 'Anyone could do this!'
It's interesting to see most people are way off track with their key strengths in their daily activities. Pressures and urgent needs from their boss, company, colleagues, even their friends and family, can call them down a path that is mis-aligned with their unique strengths as an individual. This leads to endless frustration!
If you really want to get rapid results in your career, make sure that your career plan is aligned with your key strengths.
When seeking to identify your key strengths, consider:
What gives you the most satisfaction at your current job?
What are you able to do naturally, quickly or with joy that other people aren't able to?
What skills do you need to do those things well?
Ask your friends what they identify as your key strengths.
Pay attention to what your co-workers approach you for help with
List your 3 greatest achievements to date and the strengths you brought to the forefront to achieve them.
If you would like to dive into this a little deeper, you can complete your strengths assessment here.
In summary, the second step of your Career Planning process should be to gain clarity on your top strengths, and make sure that your career path aligns with these.
Step 3. Define What Success Looks Like For You
The third thing when formulating your Career Plan is to know your definition of success.
When you define success in your career, you make it easier for yourself to know what you need to do to get there.
What does success mean to you in your career?
Is it having a certain type of job title?
Is it making a certain amount of money?
Is it having a flexible schedule?
Is it having a certain level of job security?
Knowing what success in your career means to you will help you to evaluate job opportunities and decide whether they are a good fit for you or not.
Job engagement self-assessment
I understand all too well that when you’re in the thick of things, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly where the issues and opportunities lie.
Here's a way to get a non-biased insight into your current situation, fast! We use a simple, ten-point test. These insights are a great first step towards being able to make a clear plan, as you are basing your decisions on facts and your present experience.
The Job Engagement Test takes around 5 minutes, and you can access it here: Download test
In summary, the third thing to be aware of when you are planning your career is to know exactly what your definition of success looks like. Knowing what you want your future to look like will help you to stay on track with your career. It will also help you to evaluate job opportunities and decide whether they are worth your time or not.
Trust your Intuition
You're the expert on your life, and you will know what's right for you!
At each stage as you formulate your Career Plan, check in with your intuition. Mark your ideas Pass or Fail based on the following criteria:
Career planning is all about taking control of your future and making informed decisions about your path. It should be a fun, inspiring and exciting experience! By clarifying your vision, identifying your natural strengths, and defining your version of success, you'll stay focused on the things that matter most and achieve results that matter to you.
If you're ready for some extra help, I'd love to speak with you. You can meet with me for a complimentary Career Strategy Session here: