I asked some of my clients this question. Their responses boiled down to the following.
You need a career plan when:
- You are uncomfortable or have no ideas when discussing your professional development goals
- You feel sick when you get asked the question: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? (It might be out of favour now but it can get asked)
- You see others making progress in their careers and you don’t know how that is happening for them
- You have given little thought to a career as opposed to a job.
I would also add:
- You are miserable in your current role?
- You have a vague idea that you want a next career step but don’t know what that will be?
- You go round and round in your head with career alternatives?
- You feel stuck?
- You feel that you are missing out on the career you should be having?
- You feel that you are underpaid for your efforts?
We all know people who never plan but seem to have a series of dream jobs offered to them. However, for most of us a thoughtful, directed action plan is the best way to achieve our career goals.