Whatever stage you are at in your career if you are looking for a new job then now is the time to think about what it is you are actually trying to achieve. Yes, the end goal is to get hired, but the question is, are you looking for any job or your dream job, the best one you can imagine yourself doing?
A career development plan works for anyone no matter what stage you are in your career, you may have just finished at school, college or university and looking for new or alternative options, or you may have spent 20+ years in a particular field and are now looking to retrain and move into a whole new field.
Whatever your circumstances, having a plan is going to set you on the right path to achieving that goal and make sure that you do not miss out on opportunities that might pass you by if you rush your approach without giving sufficient thought to what you could and should achieve.
You should start with the end goal in mind; ask yourself “what is my dream job?”
Once you are clear on this then work it backwards into long and short term goals and objectives that can be broken down further into actions that are going to get you to where you want to be.
What does it feel like?
When you visualise yourself doing that job what are you wearing, who are you talking to, where are you working, what sorts of things are you saying? The more you can put yourself in the mindset of actually doing the job the more in tune you will be with the people you need to surround yourself with, network with, how you need to act, dress etc.
Who do you already know?
Who do you already know that can help build your network and get you talking to the people who may lead you to that job. Do you know anyone who is already doing the job that you could shadow for a day?
What other action do you need to take?
Have you got a CV/resume ready tailored to the job you want? What does social media say about you? What research do you need to undertake to find out the information you need, for example where are these jobs advertised? What sort of companies recruit these people? Are there any specialised recruitment agencies to speak to? Where should you be hanging out online and is there any specific hashtags you should be tracking?
Have you got the right level of commitment?
What do you need to commit to in order to achieve your goal? How are you going to keep track of jobs applied for, do you need to invest in a new suit or relocate for an opportunity? How are you going to monitor and stay focused to ensure you are making progress towards your end goal.
It may not be rocket science but what this does require is commitment, consistency and focus. And if I am honest, also be prepared to deal with one of two knock backs along the way, so resilience is going to be required (unless you are one of the lucky ones who get the job the really really want on your first attempt!)