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When following your dreams, there can be some obstacles along the way. The first steps can sometimes be hard-going and may cause us to feel incapable of reaching our goals, but the end result is always worth it. Creating a personal development plan may not be something that is easy to layout, but by setting boundaries and smaller goals for yourself there is a greater chance of executing and achieving the driving force behind your success. Often times when working on how to change your life, we tend to forget that we must first focus on skills that have been acquired from other work and school experiences.
Developing a Sturdy Foundation
Once we are able to figure that part out, then we are able to take a look at the bigger picture. Answering how do you eat an elephant would be a great start. It is important not to overwhelm yourself and just work on it one bite at a time. First and foremost, it is important to brainstorm different types of goals that you want to achieve for your own journey to building your career. Short-term goals are always important to have, but it may be helpful to think and write down the goals you’d like to accomplish five to ten years from now, and then even further into the future. The concept is to solely have some sort of career chart established. Sometimes events in life can change a job or location and can throw off previous ideas that you may have had. Try to stay calm and remember that it is not the end, even if you are off course. You can still reach the goals you were planning to do, as long as you do not allow yourself to be discouraged along the way.
It is important to ask yourself some basic questions when building your plan. Assessing your position in your current job before jumping into the what-ifs is crucial in taking the first steps to your plans. Also consider whether or not you lack, or possess certain Leadership skills that employers might be looking for in a career that you want to be in. Finding literature, or resources that provide information on these types of questions can also alleviate the anxiety and stress that can be caused when moving from one position to another.
Highlighting Your Leadership Expertise
Other questions that might arise from your brainstorming might include whether or not there are projects or tasks that you have helped with at your current job that can lead to necessary leadership skills to be used later in a career. Always check for other opportunities outside of work that might allow for you to expand your knowledge. Feeling confident in your abilities will allow for an easier transition from a current job to one of your dreams, and make you an essential asset. Brainstorming can take as long as you want, but once that phase is completed it is time to put a few things into action.
Celebrating Little Wins Along the Way
Now that all of your ideas are written down, you can begin to organize them into a structured plan. Make sure that the goals you set out for yourself are attainable, specific enough for you to refer back to later, and include skills that you would like to develop. Giving yourself deadlines for when you would theoretically like to accomplish some of the goals you have put together will also help to push your determination for future endeavors. It is easy enough to say that you will get something done in a month’s time, but unless you can set short-term expectations, it is probably better to push a deadline back a bit.
Risk vs Reward
There are as many opportunities as there are risks when taking into account your goals for a career, so adding these into your plan will help you to see the negatives that may be associated, or the difficulties that may arise while setting up goals. Anyone can encounter a risk with a new career move, but that shouldn’t stop you from going after something you’re passionate about.
For instance, those who want to build a small business from the ground up- and for this example, we will say it is a baker- have to consider various other factors besides purchasing retail space. Any additional employees, contractors, and supplies will cost money and can sometimes cost more than they bargained for. Sometimes employees that you hire can look great on the outside, but turn up to be a nightmare after the hiring process is over and they have worked for the company for a bit. While this might be someone’s goal as a career to be a business owner of a bakery, their aspirations come hand-in-hand with risks and trials. Without building a sturdy personal development plan, these risks could cause holes in all of your hard work.
For other workers who are not interested in a career as a business owner, there are also risks and questions to ask when seeking a new position. The development plan can also include what sort of skills a person can work towards perfecting, and being honest with yourself will make the process easier. The plan is created as a foundation for those who are looking to pursue new adventures in a job that they may stay with until retirement.
Planning out the entirety of one’s working years can also seem like a daunting task, which is why it is best to start with a development plan that simply focuses on a few years down the road. You can always begin a new document, or multiple documents for yourself after a few years have passed. Maybe some goals have changed, or perhaps you achieved goals quicker than you had anticipated, and this can require you to start all over again.
Keeping your personal development plan up-to-date allows you to keep cool under the pressures that are already existing on your current job. It also negates the need to constantly rewrite the plan from scratch, when there is no need to. Putting together your personalized plan takes time and effort, but once it has been created it helps to put everything in perspective. Creating a plan for success opens doors of possibility you may not have seen before and lend to new, innovative ideas for your future.