Part 1 of The Organized Professional series…
What is a professional road-map?
A professional roadmap is simply your guide to building the career and professional face that you desire to present to the world to ultimately facilitate your life goals.
Essentially, a professional roadmap is a smaller part of your overall life design as every part of this map impacts and is impacted by your choices outside of your chosen career.
When you create your roadmap, you must ask yourself basic questions.
- Why do I want this goal?
- How do I which this goal?
- When do I need to set checkpoints and when do I need to reach my ultimate career destination to help my overall life goals?
- What exactly do I need to do to reach my goals?
All of this helps you to create a vision in your mind’s eye of who you want to be and why so that you can do the research and plot your journey. In a way, it is like planning a trip.
You are at home and you have to pack. Why are you going on this trip? What items do you need to take? What items should you buy once you are there? How will you get there? How much will it cost? Etc.
You use the same concepts for building your career roadmap.
What are the steps that come together to help you get to your destination?
- Establishing a desired career path. At this point, you don’t even have to do research it is just about making a decision about what you want to do.
- Do the research on how to get there. Education, networking, internships and apprenticeships etc.
- Ask yourself how much it will cost you to get there. You have to set a budget of some type to help you stay on track and consider building a financial plan as well.
- Then ask yourself how long it generally takes to make this happen. Is this a short term goal or is this a career that takes years to get into and to gain the experience you need to make your mark.
- Now you need to compare this to all your other goals to determine if this fits and if not what needs to shift.
- Write down each step it takes to get to where you need to be and how much money each step takes.
- Determine the type of job you need to fund your goal and sustain you until it is reached. One thing that people often forget to account for is relationships and family planning at this stage. Two people or more won’t always make this easier.
- Determine other resources you will need to reach your goal. Family support, health, networking groups, friends, partners, multiple income streams, therapy, etc. How will you develop and sustain these?
- Note your checkpoint days and your end goal date.
- Between each checkpoint, there should be a list of 2-5 points long, that explain the steps you need to take to make your next check in. You do this so that you can have a tangible view of your future, 1 – 15 years in span often times. This is similar to the Time Allocation Chart. Time Allocation Chart.
- Reach your goal and continue to live your life.
See the point of the professional roadmap is to help you organize and visualize something that is otherwise chaotic. In reality, we lose jobs, backtrack because of family emergencies or illness and creating your road map helps you to alleviate the stress and see what you are doing even when life throws you a curve ball.