What comes to mind when somebody asks you the question, “How’s it going?”
If you’re like most people, this question makes you think about something in your personal life, maybe your health or the project you're working on, or your work overall.
But very few of us think of this question in terms of our career. As in, “How is my career going?”
So, let me ask you that.
How is your career going?
Our careers take up a lot of our time, energy and mind space. And our careers are always putting us somewhere between fulfilment and frustration.
So the question is, where are you right now on that spectrum? Which end are you closer to?
And then more importantly, if we roll the clock forward three to five years, what will the answer be if you don't do anything differently?
How is Your Career Going?
I wish somebody had asked me this question earlier on in my career. I didn’t fully consider it until someone finally said to me, “You know looking at your career, May, you are having an amiable career.” And it wasn't a compliment.
I took it to mean that up to that point I’d been meandering around and basically doing whatever I was asked to do. In fact, I used to say to my managers, “Just put me where you need me. I want to make sure that I'm serving the firm.”
While I definitely served the firm and learned a lot up to that point, my career wasn’t necessarily heading where I wanted it to. I needed to come up with a career game plan.
My Career Game Plan
I went to work creating a career game plan, one that helped me to find my footing. Once I did that, everything started to click for me at work.
I started to find myself in situations where I was using my best strengths, which is important in order to be super successful and to fulfil your potential. That's also generally when we're in flow and feeling good about ourselves. Not only was I delivering value, I also felt valued by the firm.
Your Career Game Plan
The exact way you create your career game plan can vary but the most important thing is that you have one. And it doesn't have to be complicated.
Here are 5 characteristics of an effective career game plan:
1. Time Frame
You want your game plan to encompass a short enough time frame that you have some actionable steps to take in the near term. It also needs to be long term enough that you can make sure you get where you ultimately want to go.
2. Scope of Your Career Game Plan
For me, I wanted to incorporate my entire life in to my game plan and not just my work. Our careers take up a lot of our lives, so we want to make sure that our entire lives are in sync with our careers and vice versa. Within that scope I like to focus particularly on my professional aspirations.
Your career game plan needs to be able to morph and change as you learn and grow. That means giving yourself permission to make adjustments as you revisit your game plan. It also means embedding some milestones or signals that let you know when you’re going off track so you can “flex” the plan or adjust what you’re doing.
This is about how you fill in your career game plan. It needs to be about your life, your future, your professional aspirations, and not what your family members, your boss, or society tells you is the “right” thing.
5. Living Document
Your career game plan needs to be a living document. By this I mean that you need to be able to print it out and keep it somewhere where you can see it. This makes it more likely that you’ll use it, refer to it, work with it and update it regularly. It should be one or at most two pages long.
Career Game Plan Workshop
If you're interested in having an effective career game plan that works for you, and shortcut all the learning I had to do, then join me for a special Career Game Plan workshop in February.
On this exclusive online workshop, I'll be sharing my template of an effective Career Game Plan and helping you put yours together.
You’ll come away from this workshop with a clear and focused game plan to take your career to the next level, including:
- Greater clarity on your aspirations for your career (and life)
- Interim milestones you need to hit to stay on track
- The 3 practical steps that will most move the needle for your career in the next 90 days
In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to get questions about your career answered by me during the workshop.
To join me on the workshop, simply register for Career Mastery™ Kickstart and then upgrade to VIP.
When you upgrade, you also get a whole host of resources that you'll get to keep forever, including actionable Career Mastery™ Tips from 50 experts plus their deeper dive interviews with me, and more goodies to set you up for a great year ahead.
If having a clear and focused game plan for your career is important to you, then join me for the Career Game Plan workshop in February. This will be the only time this year I’ll be sharing my Career Game Plan template and helping you put yours together. I guarantee it will be time well spent.