Ten Steps to Effective Career Planning

Ever wonder why some people are more successful in their careers than others? There’s a plethora of books on achieving success in your chosen profession.  Regardless of your education, industry, background or experience, the one common denominator revealed in these books is “Planning.”
In the words of Ben Franklin.  ”If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
Here’s ten steps to Effective Career Planning
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1. Never Stop Learning
“Continue to hone your skills”
The world is constantly changing, and everybody is looking for new ways of doing business.
If you’ve decided your current skills are good enough, you’ve also decided your current job is good enough.
If you want to continue to grow your career, it is critical you continually seek improvement, knowledge and new challenges.
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2. Ask, Listen and Learn
“We have two ears and only one mouth, therefore we must listen more and talk less”
Listen to your co-workers, your boss, and your superiors. Their experience can be a great teacher.
Ask about issues that interest you and listen to what they say. Let them tell you about how things work, and what you could have done better.
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3. Master Your Current Job First
“Ambition is good, but only after you’ve proven you’re ready should you look to advance”
Do your job well and opportunities will come.
If you do your job well, career progression comes natural.
Look for ways to add value and go the extra mile.

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4. Build Your Network
“A well developed network will provide information that can lead you to your next promotion”
Over half of new jobs filled each year are a result of networking.
A strong career network will allow you to discover new opportunities, industry trends, and the current market condition in your specific field.
Spend some time building new contacts, and don’t forget to maintain the ones you already have.
One of the best ways to get serious information from your network is to regularly ask your contacts how they are, what they do, and what is new about their careers.
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5. Know Your Trade 
“To Truly Know Your Value is to Know Your Trade”
Use your time wisely and never discount your value.
Know your priorities and ensure you have a clear understanding of the company’s expectations.

6.  Know Your Perfect Occupation Inside and Out
Know exactly what your dream job looks like…find your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life”
Before you start planning your future career, be sure you have identified your dream job.
Your dream job is doing what you are most passionate about and what keeps you engaged and excited.
Doing what you love will lead you to success and fulfillment.
Identify your target and put your action plan in motion.
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7. Always be ready to open the door to opportunity
“We never know when or what form future opportunities will present themselves”
Ensure your Resume and professional profiles on LInkedin are updated regularly.
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8. Utilize advanced educational programs, training and tools to your advantage                                            “Speak the language of success and it shall be yours”                                         ________________________________________
9. Take Action and Follow Through
“See it, Believe it, Do it”
Plans are the first step, but a plan without action is nothing more than empty space.
Be accountable – “If it is to be, it’s up to me”

10. Surround yourself with good counsel.                                                                                                              “Fly with Eagles and Avoid the Turkeys”
Be selective with mentors and advisors.
Seek out and spend your time wisely with successful and experienced professionals in your chosen field. Constantly assess those you spend time with and the quality of your interactions.  Be stingy with your time, it is one of your most valuable commodities.
A tenured mentor can provide valuable input on your industry, your discipline, and can assist you with creating a winning career growth strategy.
An experienced recruiter and career advocate can be invaluable when you decide it’s time to evaluate new opportunities.

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