Break Down the Goals
As you work, break the goal down into smaller and smaller tasks and fill in what you need to do for each one. Then consider the necessary steps. Our example of a career development plan expands like this:
End Goal - Become a chemical dependency counselor in three years.
Education Required - Reach a bachelor’s, minimum:
- Possible goal revision: Consider Master’s degree as a potential goal. An additional two years’ study is necessary.
- Apply to colleges.
- Transfer credits from previous training.
- Take CLEP for extra math (or science) credits that you lack.
Money - Explore college financial aid:
- Visit Fastweb.com for scholarship and grant sources.
- Visit FAFSA.com to fill out financial aid form.
- Ask employer if tuition reimbursement is possible.
- Sell assets like Lebron James memorabilia on eBay to raise money.
Skills - Find a mentor at current job in methadone clinic:
- Request recommendation letters for college application.
- Consider whether your employer will offer an internship during your training. (If not, can you change jobs?)
- Prior musical training extends to interest in music therapy; this is a career asset.
- Youngest child enters first grade in six months. (No more day care.)
- Spouse seeks part-time job to help out with finances.
- A family night is designated to fit your college class schedule.
As you write your list, new tasks will occur to you, and insert them where applicable. For example, when you visit Fastweb.com it takes time to go through the scholarship application process. When you transfer your college credits from years ago, you have to write a letter to your old college and allow time for a response. Reevaluate your plan frequently and jot notes about time requirements, the costs of transcripts and college application fees, due dates for grant applications, etc. You are actually breaking down the steps of your plan in much the same way as a project manager.
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