It is that time of year when you and your manager sit down and set your objectives.

At a company I previously worked at, we had an initiative called iDrive. The employee drives their career using a forward looking career plan and their objectives.

I thought this was great, but the amount of employees I know that created a career plan for their objectives was extremely low.

Do you let your manager drive your career or are you going to take the driving seat?

Great, let’s find out how together.

[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”Mahatma Gandhi”]The future depends on what you do today[/pullquote]

An eye opener

Take a piece of paper and think back 5 years ago to 2010.

Write down what you were doing in your career –

  • What tasks were you doing all day?
  • What was your job title?
  • Who was your network of colleagues?
  • What skills were you using?
  • What experience did you have?
  • What was your work/life balance?
  • What did you enjoy?
  • What did you dislike?
  • What was your family saying?
  • What were your colleagues saying?

Now, do the same for today.

What surprised you?

It certainly surprised me 🙂

Now for the fun part

Look forward 5 years into 2020 and write down everything you want from your career.

How did that make you feel?

It makes you feel great, right?

  • Were you at the same company, but running a team of 1000 people?
  • Were you running your own business?
  • Were you heading up google, sorry alphabet?

In mine

  • I am recognised as one of the best coaches in my niche.
  • I am doing speaker events.
  • I have written my own book.
  • I am travelling around the world on business.
  • I have 150 thousand readers of my blog.

Break it down

Right, I want you to get a separate piece of paper and draw 5 rows and label them with 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019.

In each row, I want you to write what you want to achieve by the end of each year.

Let’s take 2015 year for example

  • By the end of the September, I will be leading a team of 3.
  • By June, I will be running my own project.
  • By March I will be presenting to audiences of more than 20.
  • By September I will know 30 more people in the company.
  • By the end of December, I will be mentoring 4 people.

Each year, you should progress towards where you want to be in 5 years.

Remember it takes small steps and lots of hard work.

When you look at your 5-year plan are you comfortable?

You are, adjust it. Why?

You need to push yourself out of your comfort zone to be successful.

Break it down even further into actions

Take each goal and break it into a set of actions.

Let’s take the goal of lead a team of 3 people first.

What do you need to achieve this?

  • Do you need to attend a leadership training course?
  • Do you need better time management skills?
  • Do you need to show you can mentor others?
  • How can you show your leadership abilities?
  • Do I need to lead a team of 1 first?

Now for your objectives

Take all your hard work and put it into a career plan document so you can adjust as needed. Remember plans always change.

Schedule a meeting with your manager, take him though your career plan and the objectives you want to set this year.

He may have some he wants to add, but yours should form the base.

Any good manager should facilitate your own career goals and help you accomplish them.

Wrap up

I hope you can see how you can start taking charge of your career direction and how you can create a career plan quickly that can be a base for your objectives.

If you are serious about setting career goals and want to add more detail, then I highly recommend a book that I have read called Goals by Brian Tracy.

It gives you step by step details and questions on how you can prepare a complete set of life goals.

One of the many facts that surprised me in the book was a Harvard study done between 1979 and 1989 with graduates of an MBA program.

In 1979, the graduates were asked “Have you set clear, written goals for the future and make plans to accomplish them?”

  • 3% had clear written goals and actions.
  • 13% had goals that were not written down.
  • 84% had no specific goals at all.

Ten years later, the researchers interviewed each graduate.

  • The 13% who had goals not in writing were earning on average, twice as much as the 84% that had no goals.
  • The 3% who had clear written goals were earning on average, ten times as much as the remaining 97%.

So what are you waiting for?


Categories: Personal Development