Your Visual Career Plan

We’re more than half way through the year, and electric blankets are getting a workout down under. My twitter feed has shifted into a lower gear, as tanned bodies come out to play in the northern hemisphere. Very soon, olympians will take to the stage for one magnificent spectacle of career ambition. Wherever you are in the world, mid-year provides a pit-stop for reflection and renewal. It’s a great time to get New Year’s Eve resolutions dusted off. Why not start by undertaking some career change due diligence, and capturing the key points in a one-page visual career plan?

Keep is simple, and kick-start the process by considering the following: 

Must haves

The best career decisions are based on what’s important to you. How do your values impact on the positions you pursue? How much responsibility do you want? Is it realistic, and the stretch you need right now? What’s not-negotiable, what’s nice to have?

What people say about you

Refer to recent performance reviews, 360 reports and customer feedback. What do these tell you about your real strengths? When do you seem to shine the most? Can you leverage these at you next career move? Are there opportunities for development that need your attention?


Take stock of what you’ve done over the past 6-12 months. Have you acquired capabilities in a particular area, or won a major account? Did you play a key role on a project, or step into your manager’s position while they were on leave? Don’t overlook or take any career milestone for granted.

Professional Development

What would help you get to the next level, do you job better or differently? While training and education may be appropriate, look for faster (and often more effective) options. Would a secondment into another business unit offer you the expertise? Or could mentoring give you a fresh perspective, and the confidence to progress? Reach out, look for learning opportunities. They may not cost you anything, other than initiative and energy.

Ideal next position

Given all of the above, what does your next role looks like? Is there a variation or an alternative that could work just as well? Will this position give you the opportunity to progress your career in the right direction? Speak to trusted colleagues if you need inspiration or advice.

When you’re ready, share your visual career plan with your partner, line manager, mentor and peers. As “a picture is worth a thousand words”, the plan should readily communicate what you offer and your aspirations. Ask for their input, feedback, support and more importantly, a reality check. Edit if needed.

Use your visual career plan to keep you on track, capture your progress and recalibrate your goals.

And if you dare, share it on Pinterest. You never know who’s cruising!

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