What's your five-year career plan?
If I asked you, “What’s your plan for the next five years?”, how would that make you feel? Have you ever made a long-term plan? Have you envisioned where you want to be in the future?
Truth be told, I never thought of doing this. In fact, my career went way off track from what I probably would have mapped out. But that was before I realised my mission of becoming a life coach, helping people build fulfilling lives and careers. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t thought about making such a plan.
Understanding career development is key for both individuals and organisations, which is why I’m delighted to be exploring this topic at the Scottish Fundraising Conference 2018. The more you’re able to build a plan that makes the best use of all your resources, the more likely you are to excel. Your ideal career path, in fact, has more to do with who you really are rather than your skills, expertise and network.
Before you can start discovering your path, you need to first understand one key concept: Fulfilment is not about what you do, is about how you feel about what you do.
You’ve been gifted with talents, ideas, perceptions, values and intuitions that all make you unique. Therefore, honouring these qualities through your work is the key for a better life. When you find a job or company that allows you to use all your best traits to the fullest, you’ll be a much happier person. And as fundraisers, you can’t overlook the direct impact that your enthusiasm and character has on the work that you do.
There are three main things you need to consider when mapping out your five-year plan:
1. What’s possible out there?
Get to know what career paths are available in fundraising by talking to people who work in the sector; interview them, read about their career path and connect with them on LinkedIn or on CharityConnect. The more you’re aware of what is possible, the more likely it will be for you to find your path.
2. How do you function?
What does make you thrive? What’s not negotiable for you? What makes an impact on your energy level? What have you learned from your personal experience? The more you understand how you function, the more likely you are to make a choice that will make you feel like your job has purpose.
Don’t underestimate the power of your being: bringing who you are into what you do it will make you feel alive, honouring your own personal mission. Choose the path that aligns with your personal characteristics, your vision of the world and your natural talents. When you excel in knowing yourself, you’ll bring home exceptional results.
3. What do you want the future to look like?
Once you’ve found your path, it’s not enough to just aim at that direction. You need to be able to envision yourself in your dream role to discover how it will make you feel. When you visualise yourself in that situation, you will think, act, speak and feel as if you were already there.
Close your eyes and imagine where you’d like to see yourself in five years. Do you want to be meeting donors you’ve always wanted to work with? Or maybe you see yourself celebrating your first £1 million donation. Now, step into that image and start feeling the emotions and sensations that this situation brings. Feeling them is key; in fact more than a visualisation, this is an “emotionalisation”. The more you use your senses, the more real it will feel, which will inspire you to make concrete steps in that direction.
Remember, the quality of your life is impacted by the quality of your emotions. Always keep an eye on how you feel, what makes you lose sight on time and what drains your energy. When you honour yourself, life always responds with great opportunities.
See you in Glasgow at the 2018 IoF Scottish Conference 2018 for more insight on your five-year plan!
Bruna is running a session titled, Where will you and your career be five years from now?, at The Scottish Fundraising Conference 2018