Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A question commonly asked by professionals, business partners, employers, and that one philosophical friend.
If someone had asked us 5 years ago where we see ourselves in 5 years, there are some things we definitely would not have guessed. Dealing with a widespread health scare for one. Are we right?
For better or for worse, you are where you are.
Are you where you wanted to be?
If not, we have a few guidelines to create a life around your goals. Reminder: you are in control of your own life! Think of the potential you have and take the time to create a 5 year career plan!
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so sail away from the safe harbor – explore, dream and discover.”
— Mark Twain
5 Year Career Plan: Set Goals
When setting goals, think of everything from career and finance to family, your health, and personal development.
When you set goals, you create focus on your priorities in life. They help to keep you on a productive path and make it easy to know what to say yes or no to as things come up. Setting goals is the first step in creating a 5 year plan.
Earlier this year we talked about New Year’s Goals and we told you not to make any that stretched beyond 1 year. Contrary to New Years, the 5-year plan includes both!
Small goals do not mean they are easier to meet or small in size. On the contrary, they can be bigger feats than others but they can be accomplished in a shorter amount of time. That is the major difference. They include things like:
- Lose weight
- Travel more
- Work transfer
- Move cities
- Get promoted at work
Large goals are those that need a little more time to accomplish and include things like:
- Write first draft of a book
- Get married
- Have children
- Become debt free
- Move states/countries
- Learn a language
Looking to go back to school? Check out our post on balancing both here.
On the hunt for a new job soon? You will want to check out these other posts.
Career Change: 9 Signs It Is Time For A New Job
Interview Tips: Top 5 Tips To Improve Your Interview And Get Hired
Cover Letter Tips: 4 Things You Need To Include
Resume Tips: 7 Things You Need To Include In Yours
Create an Outline for Your 5 Year Plan
Once you have written down what you want to accomplish over the next 5 years, it is time to create an outline or a plan to make it happen. Goals are just dreams without a plan. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What am I going to do (over the next 1-5 years) to accomplish these goals?
- What research do I need to do?
- What changes do I need to make to my everyday life?
- With whom do I need to make connections?
- Do I need to volunteer somewhere?
Just like you were asked to do in school, create an outline with your goals as the A, B, C and how you will accomplish them as subcategories. Having this detail written down will solidify the plan in your head, streamlining your way to your goals!
Take Action and Change Habits
In order to achieve big things, you will find that it is not just a mindset change, but also a change in routine. If your goal is to lose some weight, you will change the way you eat and exercise. If you are wanting to apply to grad school and need specific work experience, you will be seeking out volunteer opportunities which will change your daily routine.
Change your habits to meet your goals.
Be Flexible With Your 5 Year Career Plan
Now that you have written down your goals, have created a plan to achieve them, and are psyching yourself up to change your lifestyle. What happens next?
Well, you are not going to like it… be prepared for it all to shift.
As you are well aware, we are not in control of everything. That is the nature of life, of course, but being prepared for the unforeseen changes will make it easier to accept.
Keep reading! Here are some related blog posts we think you’ll be interested in:
5 Relationships Every Career Woman Must Have
Personal Finance Tips: 5 Biggest Mistakes that Professional Women Make With Money
7 Things You Need To Do When You Lose Your Job
Workplace Discrimination: Women In Power — Assertive or Aggressive?
Working Mom: 5 Tips For A Healthy Work-Life Balance
New Year’s Resolutions: A Guide To Setting And Meeting Your New Year’s Goals
Continuing Education: Balance A Career & School