How to Use a Career Plan

People you know use career plans to get ahead. Think about famous people. What about business owners or community leaders in your area? They did not get a good job by accident.

How did these people gain career or financial success? They likely thought about what they wanted their lives or work to be like in the future. Then they wrote down those goals and the actions needed to make them happen. Those goals and actions are called a career plan.

Career Plan Steps

Here are ways to help you set goals and stick to them.

Step 1: Make a career plan Think about your goals you selected on your long–term career goals worksheet. Next, think of the tasks you can do in the near future to get your long-term goals done.
Step 2: Follow your career plan You've written down your career plan. Now follow your plan.
  • Tell people about your goals. Find people who will support you and give you feedback.
  • Be sure your goals and the time you need to get them done are realistic.
  • Reward yourself for completing a task.
Step 3: Review and update your career plan You may run into roadblocks or want to change your mind. Don't be discouraged!
  • Change your career plan or tasks if they aren't working for you.
  • Think of new ways to complete your goals.
  • Understand that the world of work changes quickly, and so can you.
  • In the next section you will learn 'How to Create a Plan B', which will provide a back-up plan.

When you achieve one or more of your career goals, reward yourself. Tell other people what you accomplished and how you did it. After a little while think of new goals for the next phase of your career. You may want to consider visiting your local library for resources and classes to assist you with updating your career plan. Boston Public Library, for example has several free classes for Career Transitions.

Remember: planning your career will last for your whole life. You will make new goals several times.

Now that you have successfully created a Career Plan Worksheet (pdf), use it to track your long-term and short-term goals!

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