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Research shows that when we have a plan, our chances of achieving success is 80% higher.  Those that set goals for themselves, achieve higher rates of success in their careers.  Knowing what we want, and how we plan to get there is pivotal.  The Career Game Plan is a simple four-step process.  It is unique to us, and defines what success looks like.  It fits on one page and is easily shared with our managers, mentors, and coaches.  It paints the picture of what good looks like, with a clear road map to get there.

First, we must be able to articulate what we want, and what we are uniquely skilled to do – our purpose statement.  Then, we build goals to support our purpose coming to fruition.  We then brainstorm the competencies and action steps to achieve our goals.

1. Craft a Purpose Statement

To build our own winning career game plan, we start with knowing what we want.  This is summarized best in a purpose statement.  For this to be done well, the statement must be concise.  A strong purpose articulates our passions, our unique strengths, and our essence in a single sentence.  This is done by asking ourselves these questions:

  • What types of tasks, meetings, or work are we doing on our favorite days? The answer to this question likely yields some sources of our true happiness and our passions.
  • What do people tell us that we are naturally good at? This signals our strengths.
  • What do people ask for our help or advice on? This is a strong indicator of unique capabilities.

2. Build Goals

Now that we have the first draft of our purpose statement, it’s time to build the goals to actively fulfill it.  To take our purpose from aspirational to real, strong goals are pivotal.  I recommend setting two or three goals, and definitely no more than three.  With every potential goal – ask ourselves – how does this help me fulfill the purpose statement?  Our goals are the guard rails on our Career Game Plans.  They help us know where the boundaries are of what we do versus what we do not do.

To set good goals, I like the SMART goal framework – creating goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.  Once we have prioritized a handful of goals, I look at these like a checklist to make our goals even better:

  • Specific: What specifically will happen to achieve this goal?
  • Measureable: What numbers will I use to measure the successful achievement of this goal?
  • Attainable: During the time frame specified, how attainable is this goal?
  • Relevant: How relevant am I to making this goal happen?
  • Time bound: When will this goal be achieved?

3. Prioritize Competencies

 

Competencies are the skills, behaviors, or attributes that define who we will become.  They range from leadership skills, to detail-oriented attributes, to communication behaviors.  They ensure our ability to achieve our plans, and help strike a balance between our high level goals and our purpose statements.

There are number of credible organizations in this space that have resources on competencies, like the Strong Interest Inventory offered at Purple Ink.  Select all of the competencies that have impact, then, with list in hand, prioritize the list based on that impact and our ability to improve upon our goals and purpose.

4. Determine Actions

We have arrived.  We’re on the final step of building our winning Career Game Plan.  A nice reward for taking the time to invest in a purpose statement, SMART goals, and prioritized competencies, is that this step is fairly effortless.

Action plans have three key ingredients.  In this case, solid action plans have:  the action step name and description, the resources needed to achieve it, and a timeline for completion.  Take each goal and break it down into smaller steps, then create a column for resources, and another column with a deadline completion date.  If an action step requires a significant time or money investment, it is essential that be a part of the plan early on.  Completion dates are key for accountability.  When we write a date down beside a goal, we increase our chances of success by 80%.

In summary, we now have a proven process to build our winning Career Game Plan.  With every choice we make, we take a step closer to having the career we truly want.  Remember, those with a plan win.

Now, how will you build your own winning Career Game Plan?

Julie Kratz
Julie Kratz
Julie has dedicated her career to helping teams grow. She is a Certified Master Coach and Kelley MBA with experience in operations, marketing, and strategy in the manufacturing, financial services, and agriculture industries. Throughout her twelve years in corporate America, Julie has been recognized for excellence in facilitation, strategic thinking, and leadership. Julie is the author of the book, Pivot Point: How to Build a Winning Career Game Plan for Mid-Career Women. As a new mother, having experienced her own pivot point mid-career, Julie started her own coaching business, Help Your Team Grow. Help Your Team Grow exists to develop leaders and coach high potential women in transition through building winning career game plans. By nature, she is collaborative, and driven by measurable impact with her clients. Download your own copy of the Career Game Plan workbook, read her leadership blogs, and sign up for your complimentary coaching session at HelpYourTeamGrow.com.

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