The 3 Stages of a Defined Career Plan

There are three stages to a defined career plan

Most of us focus on the resume and interview process, and researching companies we want to work with. These fall into what I’d call the action plan component.

Just focusing on the action plan ignores other, equally important factors: Have we defined what career is optimal for us? Have we set goals to achieve that optimal career – and vetted those goals to make sure they are really ours?

My research reveals that a successful defined career plan falls into 3 stages.

  1. Define your most optimal career or business
  2. Set goals to convert that defined career into reality
  3. Put an Action Plan into place to achieve those goals

Defining your career first

You define your career by doing an exhaustive self-assessment that clarifies what the best direction for your career or business.

Once you clarify what career is right for you, you become:

  • confident and sure of yourself because you are clear in your mission
  • you become excited and motivated about your direction
  • you have a vision that is like a light house that guides you through any set of obstacles

This is why it is so important to define your optimal career or business.

Set and vet goals

Your defined career needs to then be converted into specific goals. These goals are the specific milestones you strive to achieve.

How do you know your goals are really your goals? You don’t always know, because you may set goals based on someone else’s wishes.

This is why you must vet your goals, and test them for validity. This way you don’t spin your wheels going in the wrong direction, wasting time – often a LOT of time – and resources.

Career transition Action Plan

Once you have defined your career path and turned it into a set of milestones to achieve, your action plan can really let you burst on to the scene with unstoppable power.

This is where the action is! The Action Plan lays out the specific steps you must take to transition your defined career goals into your awesome career or business.

It is your daily, weekly and long-term guide. It also helps you measure your results and celebrate your successes.

Your action plan – based on your defined career or business goals – is where you:

  • research companies who would be good homes for you
  • create a resume that send the right signals to the right community
  • if a business, this is where you put together a business plan
  • prepare for interviews with a confident, authentic stance, because you know where you are going

By following these 3 stages of a career plan, you have a foolproof process to turn everything around for yourself – no matter what your experience, education, credentials or starting point are.


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Larry Lafata, Career Discovery Coach

Larry LaFata is founder of and the world’s only Career Discovery Coach. He is dedicated to help you discover your Career Destiny, regardless of your background, education or experience. His innovative courses include Define Your Career Destiny one week home study course and Career Destiny Workshop for Besties.

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