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Goal Setting Success Guide -
Career Plan: Start Backwards!

A career plan often starts by planning backwards!

You look at where you want to end up with your career plan and then progressively backtrack, identifying each step which precedes the one under consideration.

Start by asking yourself if you can accomplish your goal today. If you can’t why do you think that is? What do you have to do first? Is there something you have to do before that?

Keep thinking backwards like this until you arrive at tasks you could do today. This will help you to attain the goal’s starting point and create the first step in your career plan.

For example, if your goal is to take a two-year business administration program, could you start today?

No, you have to be accepted to the program first. Could you be accepted today?

No, you have to apply first. Could you apply today?

No, you have to decide which post-secondary institutions to apply to. Could you decide today?

No, you have to do some research first and so on.

Four strategies can help you to develop an effective career plan.

• State your goal in very specific terms that you can accept

• Plan backwards from your goal for the best results

• Confront your fears and expectations immediately and progressively

• Put your plan on paper and into action as soon as possible

Planning a career move is much like mapping your route for a road trip.

If you don't know where you are going, you can't decide how to get there, but if you do know where you are going, you’ll get there faster.

Goals like “Go back to school” are too general and not specific enough.

You have to translate these goals into specific statements such as "Enter a college accounting program by next fall" or "For the next two months, search for work in the computer securities field.”

You have to know exactly what you want to do and when to go about it. So start backwards and formulate your career plan!

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