Planning five years ahead can seem like an overwhelming task. However, a five year career plan is an important tool that will help you reach both your professional and personal goals. Creating a detailed outline of what you want to achieve will make this an easier feat and bring you closer to actualizing your dreams.
The first and most important step in creating your plan is envisioning where you want to be in five years. Start by brainstorming and writing your thoughts down. Think about what you would like for yourself and where you want to be in life. Would you like transition careers, receive a promotion, go back to school, pay off student loans, or start a family? If it is a career-related goal consider what motivates you, your skills, and your experiences. This stage is all about the big picture, nothing is off-limits when it comes to your goals!
In this phase, you begin to narrow down your focus. Look at the list you created and identify what is most important to you. Five years is a long time, but you can’t get everything done! It is a good idea to stick to a shortlist with five goals at the most. The goals you select should be both specific and tangible.
The next step is to break-down your long-term goals into smaller goals. You should create a separate list for each goal. A good role of thumb is to come up with a SMART goal for each year. These yearly goals will serve as steppingstones for achieving the big picture.
The final step is to live out! Remember to keep up with your goals and track your progress. Before you know it you’ll have accomplished your five-year career plan.