Yesterday I had the great pleasure of speaking to a group of Project Managers at the PMI-MN Professional Development Days. Like many of us who are good at what we do for others we are terrible about doing it for ourselves. Project Managers are excellent at tackling huge projects by setting goals and milestones and laying out a well devised plan. So we took that same methodology and applied it to career management.
Well thought out project plans include a clear overall objective, measurable goals, time lines, resources, and milestones. Overall goals as they pertain to career management can include things like job change, network development, relationship building, resume creation, or skill enhancement. In order for the overall goal not to seem so overwhelming it is important to break it down into smaller more palatable steps or milestones. Each step should be tied to a timeline, with a date and deadline and plugged into a calendar. Sometimes additional resoures are needed to achieve a goal. Resources can include people, information or tools.
Managing your career like a project will allow you to cultivate a rewarding career over time. Proactive career management is not unlike any other project we tackle except this time it is for our own benefit.