Goal Plan Problems Stop Easy Career Change

by Laurie A. Sheppard - Date: 2007-02-13 - Word Count: 712 Share This!

Are you not getting where you want to be, but don't like goal planning?

Do you want to simplify planning steps so you can launch your career change faster? And, never have to go back to labor-intensive, time-delaying, goal planning? Now you can move ahead when you pay attention to what other career changers overlook.

1. Self-Observation.

What do you value and what is most important to you? Write down your strengths and skills and the environment you'd most like to express them in. Still unclear about what you are best suited for? Pay attention to what you're drawn to now, what you did before that you enjoyed, and what disinterests you. Approach change first through quiet, reflective, self-observation.

2. State of Affairs Assessment.

Once you have a chosen career objective, be a detective solving a mystery and conduct useful research. Choose your timeline for this change and consider how family members and other responsibilities will be impacted. Factor in your accurate financial picture. Talk to others in your chosen career, plus volunteer or intern to test the waters. Focus your research to uncover how this career will work for you, not research tirelessly to learn more than you need.

3. Organize and Focus Actions.

Imagine you've reached your goal and work backwards from that point to determine the actions to get you there. This makes the journey less easier to see and not so intimidating. Decide the five primary steps you'll need to take to accomplish your career change and the secondary actions related to each of them. Then, working backwards, calendar each step. Check your calendar often to stay on track and complete the most important actions before lesser tasks.

4. Revision System and Rewards.

You'll need a system to work out any revisions of your action steps before you change your calendar. Carry a small notebook or paper in your wallet you can easily locate. A phone call or meeting with someone in your field of interest can produce an improved action step that will alter your existing schedule. Work out the new change on paper before you readjust your calendar action steps. Encourage and acknowledge yourself with a reward each time you accomplish a primary action.

5. Revisit Your Priorities.

Are you distracted with too many other minor tasks? Decide at the outset what is most important, time or money. If it's your time, then delegate smaller projects or hire assistance. Try not to change your main goal deadline, but be flexible if that's what's required. If money is an obstacle, then consider a loan or leave other goals off your list for now to better handle potential lost income during this change.

6. Consistent Review and Actions.

Be consistent in reviewing your calendar and taking actions when you said you would. Be wary of over-thinking or changing these action steps, unless you discover they will not further your goal. Review your list to stay on course and gauge progress, not to over-plan. But don't get so busy measuring the size of the table you're going to build, that you never build it.

7. Changing Actions.

If you have to substitute a more important action step, determine whether to move the action you're replacing to a later date or delete it now. A rule to stick by is to move an action step three times maximum. If you find you're not getting to it, this is a sign you're not ready for change. Solution: do it or drop it.

8. Moral Support.

Whether or not you hire professionals to guide you through these action steps, you will need support. Consider who your council of advisors will be. If it's an informal source, then it's best if it's more than one trusted individual. You can also seek support through a related business association where confidentiality is promised. The classic quote by John Donne begins, "No Man Is An Island…" and that pertains here. To get ahead, share your goals and ask those in the know for expert advise suited to your needs.


The two biggest obstacles to change are fear and being unprepared. With these few simple steps you'll be armed with the goods and ready for change. Your fears will be minimized or eliminated all together, because you've proved to yourself without laborious planning, you can set a goal and accomplish it!


Laurie A. Sheppard c. 2007

Related Tags: planning, change, career, career change, actions, goal, transition, goal planning, action steps


Master certified Life Coach and Career Strategist Laurie A. Sheppard helps mid-level professionals and small business entrepreneurs who want to make quality career and personal changes. Author of the double-audiotape, "The 3 C's for Effective Living: Change, Creativity and Communication" and eBook "Achieving Selfhood Through Self-Esteem." Laurie offers complimentary coaching sessions, giveaways and numerous resources including her free monthly ezine, "Change-makers' Career Tips," at http://www.CreatingAtWill.com


Email her at laurie@creatingatwill.com Phone: 310/645-2874 - Info & Orders

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