How did I get here?

The Roman philosopher Seneca had a great quote: "If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable."

I am amazed that many people fail to plan any aspect of their career, hoping to "fall up" the corporate ladder as they progress through life.

A recent survey said the majority of employees did not plan their careers, but "fell" into them; almost 70 per cent are actively or passively looking for a new job or career.


This is in contrast to the 25 per cent of workers who actively plan their careers or professions, leading to an 80 per cent satisfaction rating with their current job and career.

Set your career plan for the future

January is a great time to re-assess your life and career progress, ask "Am I enjoying my job and career? Am I fulfilled in what I am doing?"

Remember, however, that no job is perfect. However, the goal of a successful career is to enjoy your role, enjoy the people you work alongside and relish the challenges and achievements that regularly come up.

Long-term planning

A great way to plan long term for your career, is to ask: "What do I want to be doing for a career in 2026?"

The 10-year gap is important, as it's relatively close, yet you can complete almost anything in this time period if you put your mind to it.

You may not have a firm idea of what you want to do in 2026, but having a rough idea will give you a solid base to focus on.

Once you have your destination, you can assess your career plan, ask:

* Do I need to look at completing further study?

* What networks do I need to develop?

* How do I need to promote and market my "personal brand"?

* What type of experiences do I need to reach this goal?

* What type of roles, companies or industries would help me reach my goal in the short and medium term?

Reverse Engineering

From here you can more easily "reverse engineer" your progress, breaking down your career mini-goals for 2017, 2018 and 2021 to give you a practical path and steps to achieve your long-term goal.

Be authentic to yourself

Remember to set goals that are authentic to who you are and what you want to achieve.

Though advice is important, you are the one that has to live your life. Go out and live it to the full.

Tom O'Neil is an award winning business speaker and best-selling international author.