Most of us are aware that we are performing below our capacities. We yearn for growth, however, this growth does not just happen. It comes as a result of continuous desire to learn and develop. Like everything else, this requires planning as well. This may be what you need for a fresh start, as we start off this New Year.
In her article on career planning in The Guardian, Penny de Valk the, chief executive of a leadership and management consultancy, Cedar (UK), explains that, “Career planning means thinking big while also being prepared for slow-burn development and responding to opportunities that come up. Luck favours the well prepared. The more you know what you are good at, what kind of work you want to be doing and how you will make a difference, the clearer the opportunities will become.”
Additionally, Noeline Muhumuza, a career guidance counsellor shares that having a career plan just helps one have a clear mind on; where they want to go; which is the goal, the requirements for getting there and the means to get there.
“Breaking down career planning into these categories can help one stay focused on their career road. Though requirements and means may change overtime, one’s goal ought to remain clear. That is what keeps us going. Nevertheless, some people find reason to also shift those goals, and that still is okay,” she says.
Have a career goal
Samuel A. Bakutana, a leadership consultant and CEO, Inspired Leaders International on the other hand shares that, “The bigger picture is always the real picture and should always be our major point of focus. Career planning and/ or having career goals changes one’s focus from the daily bread to the long term, bigger picture of their contribution on earth.”
He also adds that goals being dreams with deadlines, one needs to first have career dreams for the future and then break them into goals.
“Having career goals, therefore, focuses you on the bigger picture of life. It gives you a reason to work harder. It enables you to know which place is the right workplace, it helps one to easily decide their circle of friends and contacts. It gives energy for living as one pursues a future that is clear,” he says.
Christine Namutebi, the director of Divine Primary School Ndejje dreamt about starting a school when she was still employed as a teacher.
“I had my head clear about what I wanted to achieve. I knew that I wanted to teach Uganda’s children, but also create employment for others. The problem is not the big goal you have, it is the lack of a goal and purpose for your career,” she shares.
Furthermore, Muhumuza says that requirements refer to the; “Skills, talents, experiences, knowledge, knowhow, among others that one needs to achieve their goals. This, therefore, means that one seizes opportunities and chances to acquire and apply these skills to gain the experiences that will help push them forward.”
“After identifying my goal, I absorbed that thought and I started working towards it. Everything I did, every administrative post I held where I worked was geared towards that goal,” says Namutebi. She used to teach as well as play the role of the school matron. From that, she upgraded from a bachelors to Masters and eventually in education.
This gave her an edge over her peers and a few years later, she was director of studies. Soon after, she was the deputy head teacher, from which she started her own school.
It takes time
Means on the other hand are the ways, bridges, paths that one forges to achieve their career goal. “This might mean working a job that may not be the best, to get the skills and expertise you will need to achieve your goal. It could mean waiting and climbing through the ladders to gain the experiences you want,” says Muhumuza.