Plan your career like a road trip
Just like that Aussie road trip you’ve been saying you’re going to do at some point, your career needs a little planning. Aptly named, a career plan is a good thing to have in your glovebox, otherwise you might find yourself having a career crisis down the track.
So what is a career plan?
A career plan is a roadmap for you to follow. It has career goals instead of pit-stops, and necessary skills instead of petrol stations. It’s a lifelong process, and your career plan should be fluid. You should always be checking in and updating your career plan as your life changes around you.
Stop 1: Snacks
Check in with yourself about what you really want. In a few years do you still want to be in a copywriting job, or do you want to be more of a creative leader? What’s more important, a higher salary or better work-life balance? Figure out these goals before you start on your trip, otherwise you’ll find yourself half-way there, wishing you had bought Doritos instead of Smith’s.
Stop 2: Pit-stops
Now that you know the end game, figure out some mini-goals for you to hit along the way. What are the steps between writing to leading? How are you going to get there? Figure out when you want to be stepping up, and really start searching for that mechanic the closer you get to your deadlines.
Stop 3: Petrol Stations
To reach your pit-stops you know you have to keep refuelling. Meeting your goals means constantly upskilling yourself. It could be through internships, online programs, or just general on-the-job training. Keep track of how you’re going and make sure that you’re upskilling at the same pace of your career path.
Stop 4: Cash Flow
All good road trips are going to cost you a little bit of money. But if you make yourself a budget (and then stick to it) you’re going to have a great time. The same goes for your career plan. If you take an entry level job on a low salary, how long can you afford it for? Along with title goals you should also have realistic salary goals. Think about what you want out of life and the money you’ll need to make that happen.
Don’t be scared of a career plan. Just like a road trip, unexpected things happen along the way, and you’re allowed to alter and change your career plan to accommodate them. Getting it all down however can help you answer all those life-long questions: what do I want to do? How do I get there? Am I enjoying this?
Get a map, get a pen and get started on your career plan. You might even plan that Aussie road trip while you’re at it.
Need some help getting that career engine going? Check out our Career Action Plan for a breakdown on how to navigate the career development process.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
By Clare Aston
Copywriting and content intern at UTS Careers
Clare Aston is the current copywriting and content producing intern for UTS Careers. She is studying her Masters of Creative Writing at UTS, as well as juggling other interning and writing opportunities.
She thrives on literary discussions and is always on the hunt for new book recommendations. She has experience copywriting for both print and digital media and is interested in the way social media can be read as a narrative structure.
Clare is often to be found with her nose in a book and her head in the clouds.