According to the Times, recent research has found that 39% of British workers don’t plan ahead in terms of their career goals, with 25% having no long-term career plan at all. It was also discovered that those who do have a career plan take more of a short-term approach looking no further ahead than 3 years.
By not looking ahead and planning for your career, you could become stuck with no sense of direction and be at risk of being left behind and not sure how to get out of it. The times research has also demonstrated that only 16% feel that their current job fits in well with their long term career goals. If you are one of these people, you will be pleased know that you can plan your way out.
“"He who fails to plan is planning to fail" Winston Churchill“
Nowadays there seems to be no job for life, with candidates making the move more frequently. Each move add more value to their CV and facilitate their next career move. With the average age of retirement also increasing year on year, careers are continuing into later life, making the need to plan your career even more important.
What is a career plan?
This is a practical strategy where you can determine your skills and interests, think about what you want to achieve within your career and work how you are going to achieve them.
What is involved in making a career plan?
A career plan can be made if you have just graduated, are looking for a career change, or if you have become a bit stuck. It’s all about thinking big whilst being prepared for slow progression. Listing what you are interested in and you strengths, as well as important factors such as the company culture, how long you would be prepared to commute, working hours and salary are a good start. These will help to narrow down and pinpoint what you are looking for. Other things to think about at this stage are any specific achievements that you are proud of, parts of your current role that you enjoy doing more than others, and if there an industry that you are passionate and interested in.
Listing your skills, abilities and experience will help you to see clearly what career path could suit you, and figure out if you are qualified for a preferred route. It can also highlight you any gaps where training and development plans are needed, and help you action them. Once the above is in place, you can then start to set action points and timelines in which you would like to achieve these in. This is great exercise for time management planning, as chunking your goals into manageable time frames will feel more achievable and not quite so mind boggling.
One you have an idea, you can start to look for opportunities that will help you expand your experience. This doesn’t necessarily mean leaving, as you might be able to seek the fresh opportunities within your current role, or within the organisation. If this is possible, book some time with your line manager and to discuss your options. If it’s not, look at volunteering opportunities, or consider that you may have to look at other businesses where you can take on the challenges you are looking for.
This a continuous long term plan, and over the years it may start to change. It is therefore important to check back regularly to track your progress, update any goals that have been achieved and add in new ones as and when they arise. You may have to make compromises in order to reach you ‘dream job’.
A career plan is not a quick fix, so it is important to stay motivated. To help, you may want to set up rewards for yourself every time you complete a goal. This can be something as small as treating yourself to your favourite chocolate bar, to buying yourself an item of clothing or trip to the cinema.
Zenopa is a service organisation that offers flexible, rapid and effective recruitment solutions within the healthcare industry. The vacancies we specialise in include sales, technical support, applications specialist, service engineers, marketing, management & directors in the Scientific, Medical, Pharmaceutical, Consumer Healthcare, Dental and Healthcare Communications markets. With over 25 years’ experience in the industry, we have built strong relationships with SMEs and multi-national healthcare & scientific companies within the UK as well as Europe, and are able to match your specific needs and requirements for both permanent and contractual roles.
Our team of recruiters are experts within their field and are on hand to provide support, advice and guidance to those seeking a new challenge just starting out in their career or those seeking to progress their career further move up to the next level.