One of the most important aspects of doing your career planning, getting a better job, or, if unemployed, finding a new position or consulting assignment, is to ensure that you are fully prepared in all aspects of your life to succeed in this important quest.
I call this career planning process, “Crossing Your Career Rubicon River.”
Julius Caesar was an experienced general and knew how to “take” Rome. But he had deep concerns regarding getting his Army crossing the Rubicon River, which was a raging torrent in those days. So, he had to take stock of his army’s abilities, unit by unit, to safely forge the river before he could wage the battle of Rome.
Like Caesar, we have to consider in our career planning and execution, the strengths and weaknesses, the “bridges” and “barriers” in our lives, personal and professional, and gauge our overall preparedness to “attack Rome,” to move boldly with our Career Action Plan. As they say, success is found in the adroit execution of the plan not just the plan itself.
Eleven Elements to Effective Career Planning
So, find some career planning time to write down how prepared your “army” is in these critical areas:
- Family (immediate and extended). Do you have a sick parent whose illness is distracting you? Is a wayward child distracting you from the career issues you want to solve? Is a wounded friendship causing you to lose sleep?
- Health. Should you schedule that physical soon? Do you need to lose forty pounds of weight? You will look younger and have more energy for your search if you do.
- Spiritual Life. Do you feel a gap in your spiritual life that you would like to satisfy? Have you learned about other types of Faith of which you have been curious?
- Education. Should you finally earn that MBA or attend some evening classes to sharpen your computer or writing skills?
- Technology. Do you really know how to get the most out of your cell phone or tablet? Would a course in Power Point or Excel help you in your communications with others?
- Personal Relationships. Do you have a close group of supporters? Do you have a ‘rabbi” to whom you can go for insights and guidance? Are your references an active resource of guidance and help to you?
- Intellectual Pursuits. Are you reading or attending lectures regularly? Have you wanted to start doing crossword puzzles but put it off?
- Finances/Investments. How are your reserves? Have you sat down with a financial advisor to begin to update your investment strategies? Is your career planning matching your investment goals? Have you planned effectively for retirement?
- Geographic satisfaction (like where you live?). As you get older, it becomes more important to “be happy.” Living where you want to live is a big part of personal happiness. Consider moving if you have another location in mind or consciously dig into your current town and learn more about it.
- Recreation and Fun. Exercise, walk, bike, or whatever. Every day. You don’t need an expensive trainer or gym. They say half an hour most days of the week will keep you in good shape. Would adopting a pet bring more joy and laughter into your life? Would special nights out with your spouse or friends bring a boost to your life?
- Office/equipment/memberships/professional tools. Is it time to upgrade your laptop, buy a tablet, or upgrade your backup system?
Please consider the “status” of each item and how it could be improved and how better career planning can contribute.
This provides you with a chance to get everything “on the table.” Set action steps to address unresolved issues in each “army unit.”
Once you have done this work, you can more confidently “Cross Your Rubicon,” ensure effective career planning, and take the Rome of your career.