Effective Career Planning

Mary Gormandy White
Deborah Brown-Volkman
Deborah Brown-Volkman
Expert Fact Checked

Are you looking for effective career planning tips and ideas? Whether you are just starting out in your career, are in between jobs or are ready to prepare for advancement opportunities, career planning can play a major role in help you accomplish your goals. Deborah Brown-Volkman, PCC, Career Coach and President and Founder or Surpass Your Dreams, Inc., shares her expertise with readers of LoveToKnowJobs in this exclusive expert interview.

Effective Career Planning: Interview with Deborah Brown-Volkman

Understanding the Importance of Career Planning

LoveToKnow (LTK): What is clear planning?

Deborah Brown-Volkman (DB-V): Career planning is getting your ducks in a row; it's choosing a direction and then breaking that focus into smaller bite sized achievable pieces. Career planning involves 3 main components (1) what you want, (2) when you will get what you want and (3) how you will get there. You need all three to be successful.

(LTK): How is career planning important to people who are looking for a new job or who are interested in career advancement?

(DB-V): Without a destination, how do you know where you are going? It's like going on vacation without an end in mind. All career goals begin with "I want" and the rest is implementation or the steps to get there. If you are looking for a new job, in order to get that job, you have to know what job you want and how you will reach your goal. If you want to advance in your position, if you don't know the job you want next, you won't get it.

Ways Career Planning Can Make a Difference

(LTK): How can career planning make a positive difference for a job or promotion seeker?

(DB-V): Planning changes the course of your career. With a plan, you have a game to play. You are on the court and not on the sidelines. A plan gives you focus and purpose. If things at work (or in your life) get hectic, you pull out your plan and it refocuses you. Plus, visualizing your goals make them happen faster.

(LTK): What types of career problems often result from a lack of effective career planning?

(DB-V): Examples of the problems that can result from failure to plan effectively include:

  • Taking a job you don't really like or want.
  • Going to school and getting a degree that doesn't makes you marketable or update your skills
  • Embarking on a new career that you find out later will not pay you the money you need or want
  • Taking a new position in your company without discovering first that your next boss is a nightmare to work for

Planning won't solve all of your career problems, but it will keep you out of trouble most of the time.

Start Developing an Effective Career Plan for Youself

(LTK): What are the most important steps a person can take to begin creating his or her own effective career pan?

(DB-V): Decide what you want. Most people go into planning mode without asking themselves what they want first. It's important that you take a step back and access where you have been and where you want to go in the future. This reflection period give you the answers you are seeking and a roadmap to guide you.

(LTK): How can working with a professional career coach help with the career planning process?

(DB-V): We all need an outside perspective from time to time in our career. Most people tell me they can help others with their career, but they can't help themselves. That's because it's hard to see yourself as well as a qualified outside party can see you. Many people tell also me they will work through their career challenges by themselves. I ask them why they would do that. Life is not about reaching your goals alone. Life (and your career) will always be harder when you are taking the journey by yourself.

Special Thanks to Deborah Brown-Volkman

LoveToKnow would like to thank Deborah Brown-Volkman for taking the time from her busy schedule to share her expert insights about career planning with readers. To learn more about Deborah's work, visit SurpassYourDreams.com or contact her at info@surpassyourdreams.com.

Effective Career Planning