How About a Career Management Plan?

bpbnotesHave a Plan, a Five-Year Plan
It dawned on me yesterday morning as I was browsing my library that knowledge workers who are committed to managing their career should have a plan. Not one in their head, but committed on paper. This career management plan could easily be an adaptation of a typical business plan format.

Example Career Management Plan Outline
For example, career management plans should cover:

  • Executive Summary: executive summary putting it all together (write and summarize after you’ve done the following, see below)
  • Career Description: your career goals description for the next five years, identifying and measuring your competency in the four major areas (analytic, administrative, planning, and strategy) that you’ll need over the course of your career
  • Operating Plan: an operating plan outlining how you’ll get there, i.e., “read x number of business books each quarter,” ”find a mentor, ” or take a class
  • Industry Analysis: an industry analysis specific to job skills that you’ll need to be competent in and where your industry is going (is it growing or declining? how do you need to prepare for change? do you need to change industries? how will you get there?)
  • Market Analysis: a market analysis with salary data for the career levels that you’ll work towards, complete with a strategy on how to deal with future compensation negotiations
  • Financial Plan: a financial plan that outlines your financial situation, complete with debt reduction goals, savings plan, etc. so you can plan for rainy day just in case you need options
  • Implementation Plan: an implementation plan complete with the tactics and milestones on how you’ll achieve the outlined career levels
  • Performance to Actual Results Report: a reporting mechanism allowing you to track your goals against actual results

It’s a Living Document
While things can change over the course of your next five years, see you plan as dynamic; it’s a work in progress. Who knows, you may just find your passion along your journey as you knock down those milestones!