A Career Solution from Directioneering

Expert advice:Why a career plan is your ticket to success

In today’s uncertain job market, setting yourself on the right career path is no small feat. Here’s how a career plan can keep you on track.

In today’s uncertain job market, setting yourself on the right career path can be daunting. That’s why it’s so vital to have a career plan to get you where you want to be.

Things are changing, and being successful means staying at least one step ahead of the game.

TwoPointZero founder Jannine Fraser explains how having the right strategy in place can keep you driven and on track.

First, find yourself

So what is the secret to being both effective and happy in your job? Fraser believes it’s a case of finding something you are passionate about and making that your profession.

“To be successful and feel good about your work, you need to pinpoint what energises you, what gets you out of bed in the morning – and, equally, what strips you of that energy,” explains the experienced career coach.

“When we’re helping someone plan their career, we first ask them to talk about themselves: who you are, what you enjoy doing, what’s magic about your day, and what’s awful. Then we move onto looking at personality traits, such as whether someone is a ‘people person’ or prefers working alone.

“Lastly, we look at emerging skills. Are you a born communicator? Are you good at systems and processes, or driven by a desire to change the world we live in? It’s important to have all the pieces of the jigsaw, with as much detail and colour as possible.”

Only when you fully understand who you are, will you be able to build a framework that ensures each phase of your career progression is interesting and motivating.

Next, plan your strategy

Once you have a clear understanding of who you are and what drives you, you can use that knowledge to map out how you’d like to be employed, says Fraser.

“This often involves looking around and seeing where opportunity lies. It’s important to be open and prepared to do all sorts of things to get exposure, because there’s no knowing where that might lead.”

That’s why it’s so important to have a flexible career plan – it helps keep you focused on your goals, despite any detours or bumps in the road that may arise.

And they more than likely will, because the concept of setting out a linear plan and staying on it throughout your entire working life doesn’t work for many people these days.

Take your career plan off-road

It’s time to face facts: the modern workplace is changing rapidly, rendering traditional career tactics obsolete.

“Having a career today is not so much going up a staircase as driving ‘off-road’,” says Fraser. “You’re constantly on alert for the best track and how you’re going to adjust to the current conditions.”

Having a plan is important, as is ensuring that plan is flexible – because these days, people are likely to do a brief stint in one role before chopping and changing into an entirely new career.

It might seem like they’re going nowhere fast, but as Fraser explains, every time a person starts a new role, they’re learning more about themselves and refreshing their career goals.

“If you ask anyone in the workforce what they were doing 15 years ago, it’s probably not what they’re doing now, and most would have a really interesting story around that.

“The things we do and learn along the way greatly influence the jobs we end up with. So it’s crucial that we constantly review our plan accordingly.”

Every day we are designing our own futures – make sure you are building the one you want.

Developing a career plan is just the first step on the road to success. Contact the team at TwoPointZero and let us help get you where you want to be.