1. Identify the list of qualifications you need to work on. For each qualification gap, come up with a few suggestions to demonstrate how you could gain the experience you need. It’s time to turn yourself into that ideal candidate.
2. The ideas you outlined are most likely high-level goals like “get a certification” or “build a website”. Big goals can be overwhelming and scary, and that could stop you from taking action.In this case you’ll need to simplify every high-level goal and turn them into small, bite-sized tasks that you can perform in one to two hours. This way, your tasks won’t seem overwhelming and you’ll know exactly what you need to do on a daily basis.
For instance, say, I needed to gain more public speaking experience. Instead of working with a task that says “gain public speaking experience” (which is too vague), I would pick the task apart and outline the different steps I need to take in order to actually complete this goal.
— Decide what you can talk about.
— Research to see what is currently out there.
— Create a high-level outline for your speech.
— Map out industry events/event platforms/local communities.
— For the relevant events, find the contact person.
— Create a pitch to convince event planners to have you as a speaker.
— Reach out to event organizers with your pitch and book a keynote.
— Write your speech.
The key here is to focus on primary tasks—tasks that cannot be simplified further. In the example above, a task could have been phrased as “Apply to speak at events”, but that’s a complex task. In order to apply, you first need to evaluate and choose a topic that you can speak about. You need to figure out how to “sell” your keynote and then work on pitching yourself as a speaker. Each of these tasks can be completed in a matter of hours, not days or weeks, which makes them actionable. When your entire list is stripped down to its elements and all you have are bite-sized tasks, then you will be more likely to follow through.
3. Once you have a list of actionable tasks, it’s time to prioritize them and set up a timeline.
You can prioritize:
— By urgency: Start with the tasks that require the longest time to be completed.
— By ease: Start with the tasks that you can execute quickly in order to gain momentum and feel accomplished.
— By importance: Start with the tasks that you ranked the lowest for because those are your biggest gaps.
Someone prefers to work on one goal at a time and complete all of the tasks related to that goal. Other people like more variety, so they work on tasks that belong to different goals in parallel. It doesn’t matter how you choose to tackle your tasks as long as you work on them regularly.
4. Add due dates to each task and create a timeline. You will end up with a repository of prioritized tasks with clear deadlines. This way, every time you review your career plan, it’s easy to choose which tasks you want to work on.
5. Set up a weekly reminder to review your tasks and choose which ones to work on every week. If your tasks are very neatly organized, then it shouldn’t take more than five minutes. You can set up a reminder for Sunday, which is when you plan the week ahead, and you can choose one to two tasks to work on. You can also plug them into your calendar to ensure they will get done.
In order to keep you organized, You can create a sheet to track your progress. It’s a simple spreadsheet with tracking options to mark tasks as either “in progress” or “completed”. All you need to do is add your tasks to the spreadsheet and you’ll have a working repository.
Congratulations! Your career plan is complete!
All you have to do now is start executing and you will start seeing results. It may not happen overnight, but very soon, you’ll start seeing the compounding effect of gaining small wins. The only thing standing in the way of you getting the job of your dreams, the raise or the promotion you want is your ability to stay committed and work on your goals.
Good Luck! 🍀