Career Planning – 5 Critical Mistakes

Career Planning: What not to do!

You’ve heard a lot about
career planning. We’ve may have read what Brian Tracy said about
developing career goals, “An average person with average talent,
ambition and education, can outstrip the most brilliant genius in our
society, if that person has clear focused goals.”

Why then do more people make mistakes at career planning? What do they not do to manage working out a career plan?

they have unrealistic goals. They do not break the individual career
goal down to manageable bites. If they plan on reading 100 books in two
years, it does them little good trying to read all the books in the last
weekend before the end of the two years. A manageable goal, for example
would be to read two books a month. You can measure it at the end of
the month and adjust it as you go along. More likely with this approach
you’ll reach and exceed the overall goal of 200 books read in two years.

unrealistic aspirations become more realistic if you check the goals
out with your mentors and friends. Moreover, unrealistic career goals
are rarely met so the individual gets discouraged and the overall plan
becomes ignored and useless.

Second, many work out career plans
that have a limited range and scope. They view themselves as only
working in one job or type of job. This restricts career options
dramatically and can have an effect of reducing overall job
satisfaction. Expand your horizons, and work hard to cross-train in
other related careers. Learn other skills and you’ll find other
opportunities opening for you.

Third, a career plan that is over
detailed and leaves no room or time to respond to changes in external or
internal circumstances could become a problem. Further, having a
laundry list of detailed action items usually means a lack of
priorities. This leads to little or no effective action on the career

Fourth, a career plan that depends on others to
recognize you skills and potential is doomed to failure. Developing a
plan that requires your organization to plan the development and
advancement of your career is going in the wrong direction. Career
planning and development is your responsibility and your responsibility
alone. Your organization may provide resources but it is your
responsibility to take the required actions to plan and develop your

Fifth, many take unnecessary risks in their lack of career
planning. They do not develop proper options nor develop the basic
skills and understandings required to move to the next level or to
properly prepare themselves to change careers. You should be making
informed choices, with proper preparation to assure your career plan
develops the planned results.

So we have five main areas that many
do not do in planning and managing their careers: (1) They set
unrealistic goals; (2) Their career plans have limited range and scope;
(3) They have an overly detailed career plan; (4) Their career plan
depends on others; and (5) Their lack of a career plan mean they take
unnecessary risks with their career and their future.

what Brian Tracy said earlier in this article, clear focused goals are
the key to effective career planning and development. Keep from making
the five listed mistakes and you’ll be well on your way to career and
future success.