Do you have a career plan for the next 5 years?

We have heard this a thousand times – “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

Over the last 25 years of my career, I have learned that developing and continually updating a career plan is crucial to achieving career success.

Let’s make it real by taking two professionals, Ramesh and Suresh (remember 5 Star ads?) with similar skills and experience.

1) Ramesh has developed a career plan and works toward it
2) Suresh has no career plan

Ramesh has clarity and works towards his career goals regularly.

Suresh has no career plan, he works hard but does not know where he is going.

Ramesh knows what he is working towards and hence he has focus & motivation.

Suresh does not know what he is working towards so he gets consumed by what comes his way.

Ramesh keeps learning new skills that help him progress faster in his career.

Suresh also invests in various courses but mostly his choices are random, or he gets influenced by his peers.

Ramesh actively looks for internal & external opportunities to grow according to his plan.

Suresh waits and hopes for his promotion. When he gets frustrated, he starts searching for a new job.

I guess the picture is clear.

I have been that Suresh for many years, had no plan for my career, went with the flow, switched my job when I got stagnated in one company, and then again did the same thing after a few years.

I was worried and anxious most of the time during those years. I wondered (and cribbed) about why some of my peers got the promotion and I was left behind in spite of working hard.

I realized through my mistakes that I need to take charge of my career.

Then I decided to become Ramesh 🙂

Better late than never, agree?

If I don’t plan my career, who will?

As they say – “If you don’t have a plan, you become part of somebody else’s plan.”

What do you think?

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