Three Different Strategies for Career Planning

Three different strategies for career planning:

1) Ten year back casting - start ten years from now. Think about how you'd like that to look/be and then work backwards (hence back casting) from there to now.

2) Future skills - look a lists of skills of the future and build the needed skills.

3) What you love - make lists of what you love, what you are good at, what people will pay you to do and what you would happily do for money. The thing(s) on all four lists are good options for careers. If there's nothing on all four, then you'll need to adjust the lists. Or, you might need to adjust your goals around work.


Hi there! Welcome to the videocast. The vlog. Today, I'm going to talk a little bit about different strategies that you can use to kind of plot your career path or have an idea about where you might head. All the opportunities that you might take or even the ones that you might reject if you're lucky enough to get several. There are three strategies. The idea is that you might employ one of them, but you could definitely employ a combination of all 3. If that's what you wanted to do.

The first strategy is kind of a 10 year back casting I like to call it. It's not necessarily a new strategy. In fact, none of these are new strategies. So, it's thinking about what your life would be like in 10 years, and it's your whole life not just your career. So, it's you know whether you're in a relationship. Where you're living. Whether you've got children. Whether you've got pets. Then you need to think that the kind of lifestyle that you'd like to have, and therefore the kind of income that you'll need to support all of that. Then finally, if you've got an income value of X then what kind of job you need to be doing in order to have that income. This process of thinking about what your life will be like in ten years is going to be iterative because you'll probably come up with a scenario that perhaps isn't realistic. Doesn't pass the realistic test that you might have a lifestyle that is gonna cost you something in the order of $100,000 a year but you only have a career that might have you $80,000 a year or $50,000 a year. So, you're gonna need to readjust those things. You're going to need to have a think about whether or not want a bigger house or want to live that close to the city or that far away from the city or whatever the case may be.

So, you make this 10-year plan, you make it realistic, and the next thing you do is then you go "Well, if in 10 years that's what I want, what does that mean for 5 years from now?" or looking backwards from that 10-year point, "What does 5 years look like?" and you'll have a pretty good idea of what that means to look like, and you do the same thing again. Make sure it's realistic, maybe revisit, and adjust your 10-year plan. Then go backwards again to now rather than 5 years from now, 3 years from now or you know backwards 2 years from your 5 years and work out what that life, lifestyle, job, and career looks like. And then you come down to a year from now or backwards again 9 years from your 10 year mark, and you think what will a year from now need to look like in order to hit my 3 year goal, then my 5, and then my 10 year goal. And then now that you know what a year from now looks like, you can have a look at what now should look like or what you should start heading towards in order to get to your endpoint in 1 year. So that's 10 year back casting.

Now if you like lists you can make it into a list. If you like bubble diagrams you can do a bubble diagram. If you like drawing it all out and flow charts and things, you can use that. There's no real way that is better or worse. If you have a structured mind, and you want tables and graphs use those. If you have an artistic mind, and you want pictures and drawings then use those.

The next one that you can kind of do a career plan is to focus on the skills of the future. There are lots, and lots of these kinds of lists around the place. Basically, use a web search to type skills of the future to work out what it is that the skill of the future or the skills the future would be. Generally, look a few years in advance from now. Then you can look at your own that list of skills, and you can look at each one in turn give it a rating on a 3-point scale. Three just means it's really simple. It gives you a really concrete idea of what to do next. The first or the highest grading is "Yes, I'm competent". It doesn't need any work. The next grading is "I can do it, but it needs work". The final grading is "I can't do it" or essentially incompetent at that skill. What you'll do is you develop or you look for opportunities to develop the skills that have fallen into the lowest category that you can't do. But in the skills of the future, if none of your skills are in that skill set or in that list I should say, then you'll have a long list you’ll need to prioritize them and mostly the skills of the future do have some kind of prioritization around them. If you're skilled at everything in the list, then you'll need to re-rank them based on what you think is the most needed or what you think you're the worst at. And by focusing on the skills of the future you can then build a career that builds up all of those skills for yourself. You can look for jobs that make use of their skills or that leveraged what you're good at. That's another way of having a career plan.

The final strategy or the third strategy that I work with clients and recommend they use is the "What you like strategy". This's quite obvious. It focuses on essentially what you like, what you're good at. So, you make a list of those things. That's to lists what you like, what you're good at, what you could, what you'd be happy to be to do for money, and what people would pay you to do. Then you have a look across all those lists and see what is on all of those lists. If there's nothing on all 4 of those lists, then you need to rethink "Well, am I being too picky around", "What it is that I'll do it for money?" or "am I being too picky about what I like?" or perhaps it's time to revisit your strategy and maybe you need to use one of the other two strategies to work out what your career should be. I know that a lot of people in the past, my parent’s generation in particular, and then those before them worked in order that they could live. But now we've shifted to the mindset of living so that we can work. Having our work be something that we really love. But I'm not convinced that needs to be the case for everyone or should be the case for everyone. We need to have something that we love in our life, no doubt. But I don't think that it always necessarily needs to be where we get most of our money from. So, if you're using that third approach. that "What I like approach" and you can't find anything that you like that you can get paid to do then maybe you need to think about a different way of earning your living.

So those 3 strategies once again: 10 year back casting, looking at skills of the future, and the things that I like. Three different ways to think about how you can plan your career.