“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

The career you choose will take up a significant portion of every day that you live, so it’s important to choose wisely! However, just because your career is on a particular path doesn’t mean that this path is set in stone.

If you’re anything like the average working person, you can expect to change careers five to seven times in your life. That’s a lot of change. And the best way to be prepared for it is to make a plan!
As we come towards the end of 2018, now is the perfect time to revisit your career goals (or set them if you haven’t already) and develop a plan to ensure that you achieve them.

To help you on your journey, our team of expert consultants have put together their top tips to help you plan for a successful and enjoyable career.

1) Self-Reflection

The first step towards getting what you want in life is understanding what this actually is. What do you like? What do you dislike? And what do you need and want from your career? Take the time to reflect on your career or education path to date and even take the time to examine your pastimes and hobbies – these can give you great insight into future career paths.

Is your wider career plan still the same as previous years and are you striving towards the right objective? This time last year, you may have had a fixed idea of the direction in which you wanted to
take your career, but a lot could have changed since then – from your passions and priorities to the tasks you enjoy doing in your day-to-day role.

This reflection will be the key to your future success. When you begin to understand yourself and what you want, you’ll be able to more easily create a plan that suits your goals and your lifestyle.

2) Document your achievements

Document your past accomplishments, which are not only useful for building your resume, they’re also useful for career planning, allowing you to build on your successes and develop your strengths.

Doing this also ensures that you don’t forget your achievements or undersell yourself when it comes to the next milestone in your career plan, from the upcoming meeting in your diary with your boss,
to when you next ask for a promotion, or even interview for a new role.

It’s also helpful to look beyond your current job title for transferable skills that you may have that you can build on for the future. Don’t underestimate the breadth and depth of your abilities.

3) Set your goals

Self-reflection will allow you to identify what kind of career you want and documenting your achievements will help you to understand your key skills and strengths to help you on your journey. Now it’s time to figure out exactly where you want to go and setting goals is the key to a successful career plan.

Set yourself realistic (yet ambitious) goals based on the progress you have made with your previous ones and the future direction you want your career to take. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based and while setting SMART goals is a massive step in the right direction, we also think that you should set some lofty goals – goals that allow you to dream big, to raise the bar and to shoot for the moon! If you’ll excuse all the clichés.

Setting SMART goals is great. But don’t limit yourself to what you may think is realistic and achievable – don’t be afraid to push the boundaries.

4) Develop a plan

Now’s the time to develop a career plan to make these goals happen. By now you should know your interests and skills and be able to start figuring out what you need to do to get where you want to go.

Maybe you need more experience in a particular sector of your chosen industry? Then put a plan in place to get that experience. Maybe you need further education to bring your career to the next level? If so, take some time to explore new education and training opportunities. Remember, information really can lead to power and success.

If you’re not quite sure what you need to do to make your career goals in the Animal Health, Agricultural, Equine or Pet industries happen, maybe we can help? Our team of dedicated consultants are each an expert in the field and can offer you free and confidential advice on how to achieve your professional ambitions, so feel free to get in touch.

And finally – good luck!

The time you invest in understanding what you really want from your career, in setting goals and in devising a plan as to how to achieve them is time well spent and will be worth it in the long run. And always remember those wise words:

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”