The Surprising Benefit of a Career Plan

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Do you know that a majority of senior leaders “under-manage” their careers at various times as they haven’t developed a plan for their career?

This lack of a plan or a vision is problematic as it sets leaders back professionally. To avoid having this set back or to course correct if you already made one, work on that vision so you know where you’re going and what your next best steps are to get there. There are huge benefits to having a vision.

Those who are strategic and proactive in managing their careers, improve their job satisfaction, often find rapid advancement and usually receive a higher return on time, energy and money. After reading this article, you will feel a sense of urgency because you learned about the need to have a vision for your career which will allow you to move forward with confidence and without wasting time on the wrong decisions.

The Problem

In her article, “The 7 Deadliest Career Mistakes”, Natalia Peart identifies a lack of career goals as the most deadly mistake. While you might be gainfully employed, have you taken time to create a big picture of where you’re headed in your career? Failing to do so is a deadly mistake, because you can accept a job offer for any job, ignore your true interest and passion, work your way up as you develop expertise in that line of work, and learn that you’re completely unhappy. However, you feel trapped, because now the pay is good; you may have financial obligations, like a home, and a family to support; and you miserably go to work each day setting aside your deep desires and happiness. If this is you, take heart.

According to Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” He also cautions professionals, “You may find success more enjoyable than failures, but it’s the failures that will teach you the most and give you the best opportunities to grow.” If you’re ready to grow into that place where you’re happiness, passion and talents converge, there is a solution.

The Solution

Create a vision for your career. What does this look like? It’s a roadmap that you can use to guide you in making decisions about your career. As with any roadmap, there are often twists and turns along the way. However, any good roadmap helps you stay focused on your destination, which is especially important when times get tough. I prefer a roadmap that includes critical things to me, like my values, my strengths, my unique value statement, etc. These help guide me along the way, too.

If you haven’t asked this of yourself, you’ve certainly heard others mulling it over: “Should I stay or should I go?” They point out how much greener the grass is elsewhere and they make a leap without vetting the decision because they’re unhappy where they are. What would it feel like, though, if you had a roadmap when you were making that decision and you could know with confidence that the position truly was greener as it moved you closer to your career goal?

The Benefit

Having a vision for your career gives you control of where you’re headed. Sure, you don’t know what those twists and turns will look like, but you know where you are headed and you get to make decisions in line with your vision. This sense of internal control can make you 136% happier with your career. In this article, Mark Murphy shares that not only will you be happier when you have control, but “research has found that people with a high internal locus of control typically experience more career success, better health, less anxiety and lower stress.

And in a world that often feels fully outside our control, working to develop a more internal locus of control can pay huge dividends in your overall sense of well-being.” What’s not to love about that?

Conclusion

There has never been a better time to take control of your career by making a plan for your future. For people who have lost their job, who are on furlough, or who have been inundated with additional duties, our current situation provides an unprecedented opportunity to assess where you are and where you want to go.

Whether you find yourself in a career that doesn’t align with your happiness or you are sitting by because you’re not sure whether your next move will land you in a problematic position, the solution is at your fingertips.

You have everything you need to create a career vision and make a plan for the way forward. As a result, you will be happier and healthier overall when you do.

My Vision Companion Workbook can help you get started.

Click this link to get started planning your success.  

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