One of the mistakes that many people make in their careers is that they don’t make long term career plans. They just go with whatever job seems best to them at best. And this usually means the job that pays the most.
But imagine a scenario in which you were offered two jobs, one in which you were getting paid more and one which corresponded more to what you wanted to do later on in life. Which one would you take? Wouldn’t it make more sense to go with the one which made more long term sense?
Why Should You Make a Five or Ten Year Plan?
The answer to the above dilemma is to come up with five-year or ten-year plans. To most people, this seems like too much planning. After all, who knows what’s going to happen in five or ten years? And even if you do make a plan for the next five or ten years, there’s no guarantee that things are going to work out exactly the way you plan them. Still, the advantage of making a plan is that it clarifies where you are going and where you want to go.
Planning Helps You to Recognize Opportunities
Let’s assume that you’re an account executive at an insurance brokerage firm. It’s a solid mid-level job. Maybe you started as an administrative assistant, then took some classes and worked your way up to managing accounts. And now, maybe you would like to become the VP of marketing or operations in the next five years.
Just knowing what you are aiming for can really spur you to move towards your goal. You can take classes, speak to people who are holding a similar position and generally keep an eye out for advancement in your field. This way, if you see an opportunity to move up the corporate ladder, you won’t miss out.
Being Mentally Prepared for New Opportunities
Often, the thing that prevents people from taking advantage of the opportunities that come their way is that they don’t feel ready for them. There might be times when a position higher than yours opens up but you just don’t apply for it because you’re not mentally there yet. You’re still adjusting to your current position.
But if you’d come up with a five or ten year plan, then you would know that this is the position you are aiming for. And if you have a chance of getting it within two years, then why not? Saying “yes” to opportunities is important if you want to be successful in your career.