Your career plan is what you need to do to be successful – however you define success. My career plan is lifelong but you should plan yours in whatever length of time you feel comfortable with that doesn’t overwhelm you. Today I’m going to teach you how to make your career plan that slays. 

“The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can’t find them, make them.”

That’s what Bernard Shaw said and that’s a driving force behind why you need a career plan that slays – to make your own circumstances. 

How To Make An Amazing Career Plan 

First you need to figure out where you are and where you want to go. Next, you need to decide when you want to get there. Finally, you need to know what skills and experience you need to have under your belt in order to qualify for your goal position and how you can gain those necessary ingredients for your success.  

While you’re learning and growing to get ready for your next job, youalso  need to continue to build your brand and show people you are ready. It’s like they say, you have to dress for the job you want.  

Part of documenting that professional brand is keeping your receipts and tracking them. Save those kudos, there’s great language in there. We talked about this in Resumes That Slay. You can consider that like a portfolio.  

Applying For The Job – Tips From A Career Mentor

When you’re ready, apply for the position. As you build your application, look at multiple job descriptions. Your interests may have shifted and you may be eligible for multiple roles  so keep your options open. Compare your resume to the job description and keep in mind that you can’t use the same resume for multiple positions. It must be tailored, like a great suit that makes you feel like a million bucks. It’s got to fit just right. 

One of the reasons for this is that to be in compliance with equal opportunity requirements, often employers will use screening software that includes an algorithm which pulls out keywords and years of experience. That algorithm helps the employer manage hundreds of applicants and weed through to find the best people for an interview. 

Rocking The Interview Phase 

If you’re selected for the interview, you need to arrive with the best “bait.” That is to say, you will need to meet 100% of required qualifications, and 80% or better of the preferred qualifications. so, when you’re in the interview, you need to answer their questions and give them what they are looking for. You need to show that you are good at problem solving, thinking on your feet, have rockstar answers to behavioural questions, show integrity, and knock their socks off. 

To get ready, ask yourself interview questions, and have examples ready of not just what you did but also why it mattered. Don’t use average examples, use dynamite examples to set yourself up for success. Also, make sure you have multiple stories so you offer different examples at each interview in the hiring process. Consult with a career mentor who knows your work for examples if you can’t think of any. To be a super star candidate, have resumes ready and send thank you emails after. Most of all, be confident. It fascinates people. Remember: You are the prize, not the employer. Show them you’re a winner. Sell your professional brand. 

Negotiating The Salary You Deserve 

When it comes to salary negotiation, know your worth, what their salary range is, the benefit package and the cost of the benefit package and your minimum acceptable salary with all of that factored in. Above all, don’t sell your dreams short by not asking for the right amount of money. Those dollars will pay for your future, don’t short change yourself. Put your oxygen mask on first. Take care of your negotiation. It’s okay to walk away if they can’t afford you and don’t waste your time interviewing if they can’t afford you. 

After Your Get the Job

Your career plan isn’t done when you get the job. Career planning is life long. In the first 90 days you’ll be learning about culture, expectations, and metrics. After that, you should be ready to level up again and start the process over within the first 18 months. 

On the other hand, you don’t have to stay in the same job for 5-10 years. Employers know you will only be there for 2-4 years to keep up with the cost of living, work life balance and to keep growing. As a result, strategic employers help you move up through your career ladder so they can keep you. However, keep in mind you may need to create your own career ladder. 

Lastly, never accept someone else’s definition or standard of what’s possible for your life.

You can do anything you want to do. You just have to believe in yourself and you’ve got to have a career plan.

Want to plan to slay at the next level? Join my Facebook group and learn how.  

Need some career planning inspiration? Check out Daniel’s story!

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