Successful Career Planning Involves Contingency Plans

Article excerpt

Planning is a matter of evaluating probabilities. Sometimes your projections will materialize on target and on schedule - and sometimes they won't. You can save yourself a lot of anguish and grief by acknowledging up front that there are no guarantees in life, so your plans need contingency plans. Any planning that you do for the future has to make allowances for uncertainties and events whichare beyond your control.

In a career, planning will increase your probability for success, provided that you do alternative planning.

Productive career planning should be scheduled to cover different periods of time, such as a month, a year, ten years, etc. Goals should be categorized as long-range, medium-range, short-range, mini, and micro-goals.

Long range goals are those concerned with the overall style of life that you wish to live; the type of job you want; what kind of family life you want to have. In other words, the generalsituation in which you wish to live.

Medium-range goals cover the next five years or so. They may cover the particular kind of training or education you are seeking or what you feel the next step in your career should be.

Short-range goals cover the period from about one month to one year from now.

You can set these goals and tell fairly soon whether or not you are reaching them. Mini-goals are those goals covering from about one day to one month. Micro-goals cover the next fifteen minutes toone hour.

You have the most control over microgoals. For this reason, they are extraordinarily important in life. Remember the old adage, "A journey of one thousand miles begins with a single step?"

QUESTION: My company provided the people in my department with a career development seminar. One of the things the seminar leader stressed was the importance of assessing assets when developing a career plan. What assets should have the greatest impact on your career?

ANSWER: Your talents and skills are first; your intelligence is second; third, your motivation; fourth, your education; fifth, your experience; sixth, your health and appearance and seventh, your family and friends.

Q: I've been in the job market long enough to realize that there is a lot of truth in the old adage, "It's not what you know but who you know that makes a difference. …