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How to Build a Personal Five Year Plan

It’s a good idea, always, to have a plan to progress in your career. Without one, you can stagnate in getting skills, challenges and increases in responsibility and pay.

But how do you get where you want to go in your career? You need to build a personal five-year plan. Here are the steps to do that.

1. Establish Goals

Getting where you want to go in anything starts with knowing your end goals.

For the first step, sit and write down your goals on a piece of paper. The goals need to be PICS objectives: Positive, Immediate, Concrete, and Specific. If you want to earn more in five years, for example, the goal shouldn’t be “increase income.” It should be “earn $20,000 more.” Without the goals being specific, you won’t be able to strategize steps toward them, because they’re too general.

It’s important to write every career-related goal you have. If you want to become a manager, work remotely, or attain certification, write them down.

2. Break the Goals into Yearly Objectives

After you’ve established PICS goals, then you want to figure out what the objectives should be for reaching them each year.

Most five-year-plan goals can’t be attained in one fell swoop — if they could, they wouldn’t be five-year plan material! So if your five-year goal is earning $20,000 more, write down what you would need to do to achieve that.

Would you need to learn new skills? Work specifically toward a promotion? Talk to your manager about career paths? Go back to school? All of these, and more, are possible components of an increase in salary.

The list of what you would need to do is your list of objectives. After you have them, sit and break them down into manageable chunks.

What would you need to do by the end of this year, for example? Talk to your manager about career paths? Sign up to learn new skills? Begin to learn them?

3. Break the Objectives Down into Monthly and Weekly Steps

Once you know your five-year goals and yearly objectives to reach them, then you begin to map backward. You can start to list the steps you can take immediately and in the near future to reach those goals.

Break the steps into monthly and weekly lists.

If you need to talk to your manager about career paths, for example, it might be prudent to make that the first goal of the month. Your manager might give you tasks that need to be accomplished to move into a promotional path, for example, such as learning new skills.

Once it’s a goal of the month, you can slot it into a weekly schedule. You might make an appointment to discuss promotional paths with your manager.

Then, if your manager gives you specific new skills that would be valuable to learn, you make a list of what you need to do to learn those skills. From that list, map them into when you would do them on a monthly (and then weekly) basis.

Steady, methodical work toward a five-year plan starts with establishing clear and specific goals. From there, you establish yearly objectives and map backward to meet those objectives with monthly and weekly tasks. For more tips on building a personal five-year plan, contact Nesco Resource today.

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