Have you ever had a great idea, set the wheels in motion and then something out of the blue derails it? Sometimes you’ll take a breath and stick to your plan or sometimes it may throw you off your path so that doubts then take over. So how do you make a plan when there are so many factors out of your control? How do you manage the ever changing trends in economic changes, technology innovation, natural disasters and industry cutbacks?
Changing a plan doesn’t mean the original one was all wrong. When working towards the career you want, make a plan and understand the key elements that you’re aiming for but be careful not to fill in all the blanks or stick to the plan at all costs. If a plan is so detailed and set so far into the future how can it account for the unforeseen events?
Unforeseen events can create hurdles but they can also create opportunities that you couldn’t have planned. Sometimes the chance events can have the greatest impact.
Serendipity, is finding something by accident while investigating something quite different. Sometimes when we’re so focused on one outcome we miss the possibilities that come at us from many directions. By focusing only on a specific formal job search, we miss where a casual conversation with an old friend can lead. By targeting only the blue chip employers, we close ourselves to the breadth and cutting edge opportunity with an emerging organisation.
If you’re more logical and business minded, a career plan should be like a business plan, to be reviewed every quarter or 6 months:
- Are you on track?
- What’s changed?
- Do you still want to head in that direction?
By being fluid rather than rigid, you allow yourself to change and adapt to the changing circumstances. They say that companies that remain rigid to their original plan and fail to innovate become obsolete.
Kodak is a classic example of ignoring growth, by sticking to traditional film they missed the opportunity to diversify into digital technology. People are the same, if we stick rigidly to our detailed plan we may be out of sync with what’s happening in the employment market, not take feedback on what to target or how to approach a career change.
Imagine you’re career plan is like going on a road trip. By reading the road signs, being open to trying a different route due to road closures or taking a side road to check out the amazing view, you may just find more than you bargained for.