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How to Set Your Career Success Plan for 2013 by alexey ,  Jan 16, 2013
If you haven’t laid out a plan of action for 2013 you’ve missed an opportunity to gain a head start against your competitors for career rewards. Take that critical step today.
A Successful Career Begins With Defining What That Means
Before you can take the steps necessary to have a successful career you have to figure out your own personal definition of what that means. Keep in mind this is your definition so get those other voices out of your head. You know which ones I'm talking about. They are the ones that say you haven't truly made it if you aren't taking home a six-figure paycheck and spending your day in a corner office. If you are satisfied with your cubicle and making enough money to pay your rent, that's fine. If not, that's okay too. Don't apologize for wanting more or less than someone else.

Here are 3 steps to help you to make the leap:

1.  Think back on your reasons for wanting to make a switch:  what was the catalyst for wanting a change?  what do you feel is missing?  what do you visualize as your career future, i.e. what type of activities are you doing?

2.  List your goal – is it a promotion, move to a new company or industry, or going out on your own?  Write out, in clear detail as if you are already in that position, your ultimate end result.  (ex.  “I am the Vice President of Marketing for the ABC Company”).  Set a date for when you would like to achieve this goal.

3.  Write out the steps needed.  If you are looking to make a job move, the steps might be to:  look for open positions, update resume to fit the position, write the cover letter, make a list of people who I can network with to get me to the hiring manager, send out resume, create a job search strategy, etc.  If you are looking at starting your own business, your steps might include:  write a business plan, identify my target and my products and services, develop a budget, identify marketing strategies, etc.

Why Set Goals?

  • Goals give clarity to your vision. They specify the end result of what you want to achieve.
  • Goals make what you want tangible. You are declaring to yourself; this is what I want.
  • Goals help you focus your daily energy toward making your wishes and dreams reality.

Here are ways that you can set your career intention:

1.  Write out a vision statement for where you want your career to go  (“I want to become a manager by June 30″)

2.  Make a list of your job duties and note which ones you enjoy and those you don’t

3.  Of those you enjoy, decide how you can maintain or improve them

4.  Of those you don’t,  think about how you can modify them, own them or enhance your skill in this area

5.  Decide on a path that will enhance your career; do you need to get a degree or a certification and then investigate the   steps needed

6.  Set your intention to commit to making the changes you have listed above.  Write these and keep them visual.  Monitor your progress and your results as you move forward.

7.  Set a start -and end – date and take action NOW.

Setting intentions can get your career started on the right path and make 2013 a success!

An additional tip

When setting goals: focus on what you do want rather than what you don’t want.

In career planning, there should be specific strategies you will use to get you to your goal. As in self-assessment, you need to assess and investigate a particular job or career you are interested in. This means researching it fully. This can involve:

  •  the type of schooling or certifications needed; how long can this take and how much money it may cost; what will be the return on investment for your present job or to progress within you company or industry
  • the state of the industry – is there hiring going on (as opposed to layoffs), it is a saturated market; for example, this may not be the best time to become a real estate agent due to the depressed market
  • the pay scales for the job/industry
  •  businesses that hire for the job; investigating these organizations and their hiring procedures. Talk to friends or family that may work in these organizaions, or can direct you to someone who does. Get first-hand knowledge
  • a written plan with time-frames.

Escape ordinary and open new opportunities! 
One step that I find most people don’t consider is to evaluate their preferred work environment. This means looking at the type of environment you prefer to work in or do your best in; do you like to work in-doors or out; do you like to be able to move around or are you satisfied with sitting at a desk or cubicle all day; do you like “action” or prefer a quieter environment. These all impact our level of satsifaction and involvement with both the job and the organization and are an important part of effective career planning.
Play to your strengths. Life is too short to be stuck in a job you hate. When you focus on what you do well, you gain energy and enthusiasm.
Tune out negative chatter... Turn off the self-doubt and change the negative chatter channel to focus on what's working for you. Surround yourself with positive people who will help you dream big and develop a plan so you can achieve the success that really defines what you want.

Set out both the big picture and all the detailed in-between action steps that will take you to your ultimate career goal.

There is power in the printed word. When your goals are in your face daily, you can see them and it's easier to commit to them.

As author Tim LaHaye puts it: "By noting your objectives and writing them down, you activate your subconscious mind to remind you of those things needing to be done to fulfill your goals."

Does your goal seem too big? Chunk it down into smaller steps. Take the first step, then the next, and the next, and keep going. Success comes from doing the right things consistently and doing them well.

You will also want to monitor the outcome of your actions to make sure they are actually helping you to move towards your ultimate goal.

If you want your career development plan to be more than a piece of paper, you will have to Just Do It. Otherwise, it will be just another academic exercise, another good intention filed away in your Someday folder.
Develop an authentic personal brand that radiates integrity. Be mindful of how you present yourself on social media sites and other online communication channels. Read more at How to create your personal brand.
Embrace the unpredictable and serendipitous. Rather than a vertical ladder or linear path, many workers find their careers are a labyrinth of stops, starts and lateral moves.
Image via MaxFX/

There are many reasons your career may have flat lined. But odds are, if you’ve been stuck in the same job without any advancement, you’re likely exhibiting one these eight career-scuttling habits, says Alison Green of Business Insider.

The eight habits in question include:

1.     Not promoting your work

2.     Getting defensive

3.     Making rash decisions

4.     Not being assertive

5.     Being too negative

6.     Lying

7.     Being chronically disorganized

8.     Not learning new technology

career intention

I hope that the new year so far going well for you and that you are taking massive action on goals you’ve set.  Action, no matter how big or small, is what will get you to achieve your goals if the actions are consistent.