The last step in the career planning process is to lay out your roadmap. (If you haven’t already, please do the exercises in Step 1 and Step 2 before starting this last piece!)
How are you going to get to that huge end goal that you have for yourself?
This step takes some work! Some research is needed.
If you’ve identified a role within your current organization/skillset, chart out the positions that are between where you are now and where you want to be.
Take some time to understand those other positions.
Do you know what those positions entail?
Are those intermediate steps interesting to you?
Is there only one path to what you want to do, or multiple paths?
Now let’s do a bit of a gap analysis.
Take a look at the things that you’ll need to learn in order to achieve your end game, and do this analysis for each of the roles between where you are and where you want to go.
Do you need to go deeper with your financial understanding?
Your technical skills?
Your negotiation tactics?
Write down what you’ll need development on.
Note: During this step, you should go and actually talk to people! You’d be surprised at how willing people are to talk about themselves!
On the other hand, let’s say that you’ve identified a role outside of your organization, or you’d like to eventually start your own business.
Do the same gap analysis.
What skills would you need to run your own business?
Do you need to learn about marketing?
Do you need to learn how to write copy?
Start doing research on other successful entrepreneurs in the field you’re interested in.
What are they doing that you don’t have the skills for yet?
Write all of that down.
Now for the synthesis.
Take your list of skills that you need to develop.
Are there any opportunities for you to develop some of those skills in the role that you’re in right now?
Can you ask for some cross training?
How about volunteering for a project that’s outside of your area of expertise?
Can you take a class?
Can you just practice one of the identified skills on your own at work?
Talk to your boss! They’re usually supportive of people who are willing to take on additional tasks and are willing to learn. (You don’t need to disclose your end game career-wise if you’re not comfortable doing that. All they need to know is that you’d like the opportunity to work on something different in addition to your normal work.)
And lastly, lay out a timeline for yourself.
When will you learn these skills by?
How many of them will you tackle next year?
When will you apply for that next position?
By doing these exercises, you can give yourself some clarity on where you’d like to go in your career.
In addition to that, you can increase your satisfaction in the position that you’re currently in because you’ll be actively working towards developing the skills that you’ll need to get where you ultimately want to go!