Hello everyone! I’ve been on hiatus, but now back to the blogging. I have other changes coming up soon as well…a new website and social media presence. For now, it’s good to be back to writing! Hope your new year has started out fantastic. Please drop me a note and let me know how you’re doing! Thanks!
In Part 1 of this series, I described the business case for taking control of your career with the analogy of becoming the CEO for My Amazing Career, Inc., a company devoted to your career, and run by you. As a good Chief Executive Officer, you want to know which way you want the company to go. It’s the same with your career. It’s time to do a little strategic planning.
Crafting an initial vision for your future is helpful.
A vision can help to clear up any ambiguity and give you a target to shoot for. It can be long term, ultimate, or short term, whichever works best for you and your career. As you set a long term vision, you may have interim visions along the way, and because things change, it’s always a good idea to revisit the vision at least yearly.
Once you have the vision, it helps to confirm this with an advisor, coach, or friend. Get feedback on the vision from someone you know and trust.
With a vision in place, it’s important to understand where you are right now against some key dimensions. This is usually called your current state. Values are a key component to understanding what your natural talents are and how to best utilize these in your career, present, and future.
- Starting with core values, what your priorities are right now? For example, if a family is a core value, you may want to figure out greater work/life balance in the future. Or, if the achievement is a core value, then you want to ensure goals and successes along the way to validate that. Values are really about what’s most important to you. List out all of the values and strengths you currently have. There are several guides that you can Google to help list your values. These are the cornerstone for you, but also, you want to ensure that your future career resonates with these values.
- Put the list of values into rank order and understand what your top values are.
- There are some tools to assess values/strengths including Strengthfinders. I am a definite fan of Strengthfinders. This relatively easy assessment will give you your top 5 strengths. It will also give you your whole list of 34 strengths in order. These are your natural talents in professional and personal situations. For example, my own top strength on the Strengthfinders is Restorative. This is strength in problem-solving. I would never be happy in a career where I wasn’t solving problems, so this would be an absolute for me, and essential to understanding.
- Strengthfinders also has a Leadership assessment that shows how to leverage your strengths as a leader in an organization. Well worth the read.
- Another value/strength support is the VIA Strengths Tool assessment. This tool is free and allows you to get a report online outlining your core strengths/values.
Effective strategic planning begins with a vision and current assessment of where you are and what’s important about that. In our next article, we will continue to explore your career by looking at your successes, opportunity areas, and core competencies.
Set up a Word file, or notebook, however, you prefer to capture information and take some time to document your vision for the future of your career and values/strengths. Take any necessary assessments to provide clarity. This will form the foundation of your career master plan.
Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a certified Career/Executive Coach. She coaches individuals and leaders to career fulfillment, transition, and advancement. She also consults for results with businesses and solopreneurs. Her background includes 12 years in senior leadership for a Fortune 100 corporation and 7 years as a coach, with a Master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness and Executive Coaching.
For more information, please visit my website at www.upcoached.com