It’s a rare organization or business that doesn’t have a strategic plan to help guide its growth.
But for individuals in the workplace, it’s also important to have a personal professional strategic plan to help you get you to where you want to be, and to help chart the way there.
“Having a personal strategic plan is like having a GPS or Google maps,” said Lisa Archambeau, CAM, vice president, facilitator and strategist for ServiceElements International. “It helps you be clear about your vision and how to get to where you want to be.”
“Ask yourself, ‘Where do I want to be in one, or five years?’ and what position and employer would I like to have.”
Jo Damato CAM, Senior VP of Education, Training and Workforce Development, NBAA
Jo Damato, CAM, NBAA’s senior vice president of education, training and workforce development, recommends getting started on a plan by asking yourself, ‘Where do I want to be in one or five years, and what position and employer would I like to have?’
“If you’re not sure, reflect on who you admire and aspire to be like in the industry,” said Damato. “Connect with them on LinkedIn, learn more about their path to success, crowdsource for inspiration. Then, write down your personal plan that details what you want to achieve and by when.”
According to Damato, the next step would be to commit to the professional development strategy by figuring out its requirements. Ascertain how to balance work and home life and then set aside the time needed to achieve your goal.
“What resources will you need – time, money, human support – to accomplish your goal,” she suggested. “Plan it out for success.”
Damato encouraged individuals to identify people who can give you the support you need, cheerlead for you, and give you a push forward when it looks like you’re getting stuck.
“This might all be the same person, or more likely a team of people who each fulfill for you one of those necessary personas,” explained Damato. “Accountability gets you to the finish line.”
Finally, it’s important to recalibrate your plan as needed, as strategies change with circumstances and diversions happen, noted Damato.
“Revisit your strategy often to make sure you can stay on track and be realistic about your ability to reach the finish line,” she said. “Use your calendar to create and track milestones. Remember, the journey is just as important as the finish line.”
Archambeau also noted the importance of flexibility. “You need to be able to pivot,” she said. “You may get new opportunities that you didn’t even know about.”