Be Prepared, Stay Prepared

 No one can fully predict what the future holds, but you shouldn’t underestimate the power of forward planning. Many factors feed into our career progressions and several are completely out of our control. But the planning you can do is worth your time and effort, as it can pay dividends in the long run. Look at where you can make your own future steps and map out a career path that takes you to a place where you can picture yourself being successful and happy.

Positive forward planning is something that so many people take for granted. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but how many of us really look at our business, our staff and ourselves, and plan for the long-term. On a personal level, staff can plan ahead in terms of keeping their network of contacts up-to-date. Networking and membership of professional bodies are both good ways of maintaining an air of preparation for the unexpected. Ensuring qualifications and work practices are as current as they can be is also key to smooth career progression. Attend seminars and conferences if you think they are relevant. Look at and plan what you need to make yourself an attractive candidate, either for new positions or promotions. Attend networking events, even when you don’t need to, to keep your hand in. Retaining updated CV’s is another good way to forward plan and not get left in the lurch when an appropriate resume is suddenly required. By tracking career achievements in real time, it’s much easier not to make omissions while the details are fresh in your mind.

If you use social media in your working life, such as LinkedIn, be consistent in your ‘message’ across all platforms. This will make sure you have one ‘online persona’, not several outdated ones, floating around the ether. When planning out your career path, keeping alert is a vital part of the process. Look out for job opportunities and seek out as many new experiences and relevant contacts as possible. Absorb as much experience and knowledge, and hone and practice interview techniques too. Be ready for change, with a multitude of hypothetical scenarios – if this happens, then do that. All these aspects of your planning and self-scrutiny will enable you to better prepare you for transition and make sure you have a clear strategy for career advancement.