Published On: Sat, Dec 28th, 2019

How to Create a Flexible Career Plan

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Time and time again the experts espouse the importance of making concrete career plans in order to ensure that business professionals reach the pinnacle of career success. The difficulty is that much of the time life throws everyone a curve ball. Not always negative, just something unexpected that they have to deal with. When this happens the concrete career plan may crack.

That’s why it is important to build in flexibility. As Charlie Hoehn says in his August 2009 blog, “Just DO things.” Yes, that might sound a bit trite and understated; however, the advice that Charlie is trying to share is that over-planning life or a career may not only make it boring, it may result in missed opportunities.

Choose a Career, but be Flexible

After high school, Cassandra didn’t have the stomach for four more years of school, so she completed a certified administrative assistant program at the local community college. Armed with her diploma she headed off to find her first administrative assistant position.

What she found is that without experience it was tough to get more than a receptionist job. One company saw enough potential in her and her computer skills they were willing to take her on as a graphic artist trainee. Interestingly enough she always considered herself a creative person. But she ultimately refused the position because she felt tied to the path she studied. Years later she regretted her choice.

Having a goal to graduate college with a specific degree and job plan in mind is fine. In fact, it’s a great place to start. However, what about the life experiences gained in college while someone is pursuing their education? What about all the unexpected opportunities that may arise that they couldn’t possibly predict?

Too often what happens is that someone becomes singularly focused on a goal to the point of being blind to other choices they might make. But what happens if the path chosen doesn’t work out? They may not know how to make the adjustment to get going in the right direction again.

That’s why it is important to keep in mind that nothing is etched in stone. And while no one can predict what will happen given any particular choice, it is important to think each option through as completely as possible. No immediate knee-jerk reactions because it doesn’t somehow “fit.”

Plan, but Consider Life in Stages

How to Create a Flexible Career Plan

One thing a twenty-something can’t do is look through a fifty-something’s eyes. Hindsight is always 20-20. However, what someone younger might be able to take advantage of is the knowledge that life comes in stages.

When people are young and just starting out, they are not likely thinking of retirement. They may not even be thinking of buying a home or starting a family. Many times their focus is just on getting through each day. However, some type of long-term planning can make encountering life’s little ups and downs that much easier to manage. So while it’s important to be open to new directions and opportunities, having a few major goals – saving for a rainy day, starting a retirement plan, investing in further education – might be in order. With that in mind, here are three important concepts.

First, no matter what choice someone makes, even if it eventually leads down a dead-end street or feels like a mistake or results in what they might consider failure, learn something from the experience. Any single lesson can very easily lead to other choices and other learning opportunities. And that’s what a career and life should be about.

Next, flexibility is about choosing how to make it all happen. Making one choice does not have to automatically eliminate all other options. Choose to go to college first then head out to see the world. Choose to travel or take a great career opportunity before attending school at night. There are just so many ways to mix and match. It’s a matter of finding the right balance, which might include taking advantage of several short-term opportunities now and settling in for the long-haul later on. It also may mean being prepared to explain to future employers why multiple directions at once were beneficial.

Finally, people need to routinely re-evaluate where they are versus where they want to be. Life and career should never be about feeling stuck with the status quo. How horrible for someone to be twenty years into a career and realize they hate what they are doing; how much worse to feel as if they have no other options. That’s why it is important to seek new opportunities, make alternative choices and just do things, including creating a flexible career plan.

About the Author

- I am an internet marketing expert with an experience of 8 years.My hobbies are SEO,Content services and reading ebooks.I am founder of SRJ News andTech Preview.

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