6-Step Action Plan to Career Success

Action-Plan to Success Background

Every leadership success story comes from creating an on-target action plan for career success. It is harder to achieve success from simply going at it and hoping for the best. This is because you might encounter snags along the way and don’t have any ways to overcome them.

It is baffling why some succeed and some fail in their careers. Sometimes it may even seem unfair. You may know friends and family who are fantastic people, act appropriately, have good education, have good jobs, and generally perform well on the job. But somehow they still wallow in difficulty.

Then there are those who always achieve so much success and yet do not have high merits. They have minimal education, poor attitude about themselves and other people, may be dishonest and unethical, and even involved in a cycle of breakups and new partners. In these cases, the actual defining factor is the strength of one’s desire to get ahead. Despite their lack of virtues, knowledge and appreciation, these people often got ahead in the success race.

This is also why  many good and honest workers you know are struggling to pay their bills. If the desire is strong enough to achieve the goals, why still many do not?

Desire vs Work

The sad answer is there is only desire, but no work. Oftentimes many dream big but do not hustle and put in the work. They do not stay up late at night developing new solutions to their problems. Nor do they not work 16 hours a day closing a sale. Work hard to ensure the prospects they approach turn into qualified leads?  Nope!  They do not learn all that they possibly can about their industry and markets. They do not work to get around the right sources of influence, or to associate with those people who can help them to achieve their goals. While they are sitting there dreaming, some are getting off their seats and working.

Action Plan to Career Success

So, what are the steps to develop an action plan to career success that will work effectively and take you to the finish line strongly?

Here are the major points to keep in mind in building an action plan to career success:

Step 1: Develop The Right Action Plan to Success For You

Some people are very detail-oriented and are able to closely follow an intricate plan to the letter. Others are more effective when they see the bigger picture first and then frame out the small steps that lead to the final goal.

Each of us is unique and motivated by different factors.  You’ve got to develop an action plan to career success that is right for you and fits you. Some plans will not be as intricate as others, but we all must have a plan, along with goals in that plan, to move us forward. If you are a free spirit, don’t tell yourself you are going to spend two hours a day with a book and a journal. It probably won’t happen.  And you will just get discouraged. Whatever your personality, your strengths and your weaknesses, develop the plan around them. This is not a one-plan-fits-all proposition.

If you’re detail-oriented, it’s best to map out the small steps in your action plan to career success with utmost focus. This means being very clear on what you want to achieve daily, weekly or monthly. For example, the first small step to achieving your ideal weight is to cut out 1 serving of sweetened drinks by the end of Week 1.

For those who like to see the bigger picture first, it helps if you imagine how it will be if you’re, say, 20 pounds lighter. You may be able to get out of bed easier, your energy level will rise, and you will fit into those clothes that you yearn to wear. Then, map out what you need to do in order to achieve that.

Step 2: Allocate The Time For Your Action Plan to Career Success

This is crucial in your planning, because you’ll be clearer on when you should commit to achieving your goals. In this case, let’s use the weight-loss goal.

It might be alternating aerobics and  weight training every other weekend. Or it could t be running 30 minutes each morning or swimming after work. Alternatively it could be in the car listening to weight loss motivational podcasts on your way to work, or possibly meeting your coach once a week to set your workout plan and to check on your progress.

Whatever it is, be specific on the where, when and how to do it, and actually do it. In your step-by-step plan, put down points that represents small achievable goals that you can accomplish in a short time. They should be specific because if you straightaway put down a major goal, you may think it’s too big to achieve.

The next crucial element in achieving your goals in your action plan to career success is not starting to work on it, but to keep going at it. Discipline is important and really comes into play here. Take those steps every day, which will close the gap to your goals.

Step 3: Keep A Record

Two words that will help you a lot: Take Notes. In all seriousness, don’t trust your memory. It’s much better and workable when you write it down.  And write it in a single place so it’s easier for you to remind yourself where you’re heading and what success you have already achieved. You will find that this step will help you tremendously in the long run.

Record everything! Be it the ideas and inspiration or reminders and failures that you have gone through. This helps carry you from where you are to where you want to be. Write down the ideas that you get from outside sources that impact you most. Complement them with your own ideas that further suit your style. Do a brainstorm session with yourself on what you want and how you want to do it. And finally, record all your desires and ambitions, and put it where you’ll read them daily so you remind and motivate yourself consistently.

Your journals are a gathering place for all the valuable information that you will find. If you come across something that you think will help you achieve, for example, promotion, power, allies, productivity, influence or uniqueness, do not delay. Write it down. Strengthen your reflection and motivation by using the information you gather and put it where it will be recorded permanently

Step 4: Reflect on Where You Are and Where You Want To Be

Next step is to make the time for reflection. This is where you spend some time to go back over, to study again the things you’ve learned and the things you’ve done each day. This can also be called ‘running the tapes again.’  This is done so the day locks firmly in your memory and serves as a tool for motivation and keeps you going.

As you go through it, spend time reflecting on its personal significance. What you can do is take a few minutes at the end of each day before you retire, and go back over what happened.  Review your achievements for the day.  Pay extra attention to who you talked to, who you saw, what they said, what happened and how you reacted.

Another way is to take a longer time at the end of the week to reflect on the week’s activities and achievements. It also pays to periodically stop, step back and look at what you’re doing.  That helps you see if your actions served to push you to your goal or otherwise. Then tweak it a bit so you are kept on track with your action plan to success. Take a half day at the end of the month and a weekend at the end of the year so that you’ve got it, so that it never disappears  That ensures the past is even more valuable and will serve your future well

Step 5: Set Clear and Achievable Goals

Remember that your action plan to success is the roadmap that shows the way to your goals.  That means it is always an essential tool that helps you to succeed. Setting goals is also an invaluable skill to learn.

Why?

Because it can change your career for the better, and does it in the fastest way. Mastering this unique process can have a powerful effect on your life, too. If you have a set of clearly defined goals, it can surprisingly be a powerful indication of your potential! If you don’t have them yet, better to frame them out immediately so you have a lucid view of your future and dreams. Set your own goals clearly as soon as possible.  Because it is the greatest influence on your future and the greatest force that will pull you in the direction that they want to go. It all boils down to this: If you plan and design your goals well, your future will be very bright.

Step 6: Act on It!

So what still holds you back from your success? You have a very strong desire to do it already, and you have already created a plan that will take you there.

The next step?

Take action! Here’s the thing: successful people aren’t necessarily smarter than others; they just work the plan to the letter, they follow through on the plan and ensure the plan serves them to reach greater heights.

The best time to act on your action plan to career success is when your emotions are strong. There’s a little thing called The Law of Diminishing Intent. This essentially means your desires diminish over time.   But, if you don’t act immediately after having the desire, your goals are harder to achieve. Act when the idea strikes you, when the emotion is high, but if we delay and we don’t translate that into action fairly soon, the intention starts to diminish, and a month from now its cold and a year from now it can’t be found. This is where discipline comes to play – work the action plan to career success when the idea is strong, clear and powerful. You must capture the emotion and put it into disciplined activities and translate it into strong unrelenting action.

Expediting Your Career Success with SMARTER Goals

SMARTER Goals To Make 2022 Your Best Year

Make 2022  the best year yet with SMARTER goals for you or your team.

SMARTER Goals

Get SMARTER Goals

HR professionals should have an important objective in mind: make 2022 the best year it can be.

It should be simple to do, right? Work teams can meet and brainstorm on various activities for  goal setting.

But unfortunately, the amount of effort needed to achieve a goal can be much more than you think. It can feel daunting and even overpowering.  Also. teams could instead end up identifying various random objectives. Or worse, with nothing concrete or doable.  Or. they may not even be aligned with the company’s vision for the business.

Frankly, to make it your best year possible, it’s not enough to just have a list of any old goals. You need the right objectives, the actions that will get you there, and, most of all, the consistency that forms these actionable steps into habits everyone can follow.

To do all these, you need SMARTER goals.

Why Are SMARTER Goals Important?

SMART, and its more comprehensive variant, SMARTER, are acronyms. You will learn more about what they stand for shortly.

Michael Hyatt, a  best-selling author, developed the concept. To what purpose?  As a means to make goals a reality by making them into actionable and measurable steps.  In other words, a repeatable process.  With consistency and practice, you can make these steps into habits.

To understand the importance of SMARTER, you only have to look the number of people who make, but fail to keep New Year’s resolutions.  People start off each year brimming with hope and a “can-do” attitude. Here’s the issue, though: by the time February comes around, more than half of them can no longer stick to their list of resolutions and a Franklin Covey survey found only 23% keep their resolutions.

Why?

There are myriad excuses, but they can be summarized into 1 significant reason:  They didn’t plan well when it comes to their goals.

In spite of their well-meaning objectives, they set themselves up for failure..

Creating SMARTER Goals

Using the   SMARTER definition and approach, here are seven goals that may apply to you. They will certainly play a part in making 2022 your great year.

We  also provided some SMARTER goals examples to make each point clearer:

Your Career Success through the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Project

S.M.A.R.T.E.R is an acronym that stands for:

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Relevant

Time-Bound

Evaluation

Readjust

Your Career Success with Project S.M.A.R.T.E.R.

Here’s a detailed elaboration of this approach and the 7 steps involved:

SMARTER Goals for 2022

1. Specific

Your goal should be specific and crystal clear and identify exactly what you want to achieve.  You should be able to know what success looks like here. The more specific you can get, the better. A good tip here is to ask yourself the 5 W questions below:

What do I want to accomplish?

Why is this goal important?

Who is involved?

Where is it located?

Which resources or limits are involved?

2. Measurable

Useful goals you set for yourself or your team should be measurable and let you quantify the result. This is so you can track your progress and performance properly. Being able to see progress is a great motivator – it gets you excited knowing that you are on your way to success. Not only that, this helps your focus.  Also you want to ensure you are placing your energy behind goals that result in the best returns.  To help clarify a goal that is measurable, here is an example:

BAD:  I will clean up our candidate database.

GOOD:  I will review all the candidates in the file from A to F all next week and discard any that are over 6 months old.

3. Achievable

A successful goals should be one that is realistic and achievable. A goal with no action is wishful thinking.  But lying to yourself and aiming for a goal that is beyond your abilities will only result in failure to reach that goal.  That being said – this is not an excuse for you to be complacent here. You should set goals that will stretch your abilities but also remain possible for you to achieve.

Also, you should consider factors that will affect the achievability of the goal, like financial and time constraints.  A  goal example would be:

BAD:  I want to be more consistent with recruiting.

GOOD:  Spend two hours every morning calling candidates who applied to our Indeed ad.

4. Relevant and Realistic

Your goal should be relevant. It should matter to you, and in line with your priorities and beliefs.  And also be aligned with other company goals and vision. This step keeps you from focusing on the wrong things.  Many  HR professionals fail to achieve their goals because the goals are not consistent with reality.  Most HR personnel don’t have a problem setting big goals.  Experts recommend making your goals realistic, putting them in writing, and keeping track of your progress.

5. Time-Bound

Every goal you set should have a specific deadline – this gives you something to work towards. However, aiming to hit a goal in 5 to 7 years is not considered a proper deadline. Sure, it contains a time element – but it’s not specific enough.

Your plan to reach a goal in 5 years will be quite different from your plan to reach a goal within 7 years.

Setting a more specific date for your goals allows you to develop a clearer plan to achieve it. This also prevents you from letting other everyday matters take priority over your goals.  If you don’t set a deadline for your goals you won’t be able to measure milestones or how close you are to achieving your goal.  Look at these examples:

BAD:  I am going to rewrite our company Employee Handbook.

GOOD:  I will write an updated draft, edit and finalize our Employee Handbook by June 30th.

6. Evaluate

The only way to be better is to learn from past experiences, mistakes, and successes..  Over time, things happen and goals change. Look over your goals from time to time and evaluate them ; check if they need changing to fit your current situation. Constant evaluation of you goals is essential for you to reach your goals.  Be sure to congratulate yourself on the small wins. After all, you accomplished them and that should fuel your motivation.

7. Revise

Upon evaluation, if you find that your goals need readjusting, revise them accordingly.

The most important thing to do is to make revisions to your goals where you see opportunities for growth. This will also help you stay focused.

Even if you are confident with how things are going, there’s always room for improvement. Take this opportunity to analyze your performance or that of your team and make changes where needed!

Setting SMARTER team goals effectively

Finally

Stating your goals in the SMARTER way can make them easy to understand. What is measurable can be improved and compared, and the SMARTER methodology helps HR leaders align their critical decisions to the overall company goal.

How to Achieve Your Career Success – Skip at your Risk

Your career success goals highway
Expediting Your Career Success – a Necessary Blueprint

Consider your career success as a worklife journey.  To embark on a major journey, you should first have a real idea of your destination.

This way, you’ll be able to plan adequately for your journey – directions, mode of transport, estimated costs, time, etc.

Skip that, and you’d end up wandering aimlessly. Or find yourself lost somewhere in middle of Timbuktu. Sure, you’re on a journey alright…but where?

Similarly, when it comes to planning for your career success, you will need a “destination” and a “roadmap”. That would be a clear vision of what you want, and specific goals to help you on your way to achieve your idea of success.

Creating A Vision of Your Career Success

Vision of your career success

To be truly effective in your pursuit of career success, you should first be able to visualize your “destination” – a clear vision of where you want to be in the future. It’s what you desire, your passion, your purpose in doing something.

Creating a vision is important. That gives you direction, a compass to direct you in making the best decisions, and taking the right actions that will propel you towards success. It’s what gets you excited and motivated to push beyond your self-imposed boundaries. It’s what keeps you focused and on top of the game.

At the start, take some time to envision how you see your career in your ideal future. Reflect on your passions, core principles and values you live by, and your purpose in working.

Remember to define your vision – make sure your vision is specific and clear. That becomes your starting point – the very foundation you will be building on. It is the ideal you will be striving for, to get close to.

It should be something that is in line with your values and principles, as well as your view of the future. Simply coming up with a vague vision of wanting to be “promoted” or “get ahead in your career” is not enough; it should be something more solid, tangible, and specific.

Examples of Your Career Success and tie to Mentorship

An example here would be:

Get financially free by age 30.

To work only 30 hours a week.

Become a healthier individual – both mentally and physically.

You can also think of the people in your company or in your industry that you admire and look up to – the kind of characteristics or habits you wish to emulate yourself. In fact, you can even ask them to be your mentor, to help you think things through on certain areas and advise you on what has worked for them.

Again, don’t restrain yourself too much when creating your own vision. Your vision is personal and unique – there is no right or wrong. It’s something that only you can decide for yourself, and this also is dependent on what you want to achieve in your career.

Remember, the point of creating a vision is to know your reason for doing something, and to help you be more focused and motivated.

Setting Your Goals for Your Career Success

Setting your career success

But simply envisioning the future is not enough – that just reduces your vision to little more than a pleasant wish or dream.

Visions will remain unattainable when not coupled with goals. And this is where goals come in.

Goals are more specific and quantifiable targets – it’s the “roadmap” to your journey of career success. They act as benchmarks or milestones, aiding you in laying the path for the proper achievement of your vision. This also includes the tactics as well as strategies you use to work towards your vision.

To explain it simply, goals are a tool to help you take conscious steps each day to help you realize your vision of your career success.

Again, we have to emphasize here that a solid, clear vision first is important. The goals you set and work towards achieving should be in line with your vision. This keeps you focused on the big picture as to why you should complete your goals.

And a good approach to use when it comes to setting your work goals is the S.M.A.R.T.E.R approach to goal setting.  We will review the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. approach to goal setting in the next article.

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