How to Plan Your Career in 10 Practical Steps

Have you taken the time to reflect on where you are in your career? Have you progressed? Are you stuck? Are you happy? What do you want out of your career and life? Is your career meeting or not meeting your personal or professional goals?

If you’ve asked yourself these questions, here are our 10 steps on how to build an effective career growth plan!

1) Examine and reflect on what is important to you

It is important to evaluate your career from all aspects of your life. One of the best decision-making strategies is to address and examine how your decisions fit into all phases of your life including those that appear unrelated.

Before you begin to write about your future plans, you must start with a list of your talents, passions, values, elements of your ideal lifestyle and employment environment first. It doesn’t have to be work-related – everything is relevant!

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • What are my talents? What am I good at?
  • What do I feel passionate about?
  • What kind of environment do I work well in?

2) Evaluate your likes and dislikes

It’s easy for someone to say that they liked “that job” or not, but sometimes it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what it was they did or didn’t like. You need to analyze your past work experiences and discover your likes and dislikes in each work setting and evaluate it based on your peers, manager(s), environment and responsibilities.

During this exercise, you could notice that these might have changed over time and this will help you recognize what motivates, stimulates and drives your performance.

3) List what is it you want or need from the job/career

Before pondering about how to plan your career, you need to brainstorm on what is your ideal job first. What do you want your future to look like? Ask yourself: What is your definition of career success? Where am I now and where do I want to be?

4) List your past accomplishments

Reviewing and listing your past and current accomplishments will uncover successes that can have a significant impact on your next steps. Assessing your career opportunities and having mapped out your accomplishments will allow you to target jobs that will give you the chance to excel.

5) Search for the ideal job

Start your job search by looking at different roles that you might be interested in for you to decide which positions to go for or to leave and how to prioritize your job opportunities. Don’t just look at job titles; consider the job content, your transferrable skills, talents and values as well.

6) Plan and set career goals

Assess those jobs against your values, ideal lifestyle, and the environment you work well in, among others. Only then can you start setting your career goals and develop your roadmap.

7) Learn, grow and develop

It is essential to keep developing your skills, abilities and knowledge. Development is key for professional and personal growth to move forward in your career.

Whether you’re attending a workshop to develop new skills or learn a new language, take charge of your progression and be on top of your game!

8) Review your career on a yearly basis

By doing this on a yearly basis, you will be better prepared for uncertainties and roadblocks and will feel more confident in your career choices and path.

9) Take action

With all the information at hand, the next step is to act. Ensure you set up clear goals and timelines for you to be accountable.

10) Keep in mind the unexpected

Don’t forget that plans are not set in stone and that it is important for you to be prepared to change them if and when necessary.

Planning and identifying your goals may take time and effort. However, if you do so throughout your career, you will be able to position yourself on the right track and focus your energy on going after what you want.

Having a career coach in Dubai to guide you through this process can be extremely useful. If you’re serious about taking an action towards your career growth, it’s time to get in touch with us!

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