1. Career Advice
  2. Career Path
  3. Check out these practical tips on how you can use a 3-year plan to direct your career
Check out these practical tips on how you can use a 3-year plan to direct your career

Check out these practical tips on how you can use a 3-year plan to direct your career

  • Why is a 3-year plan important?
  • 1. Direction
  • 2. Goal setting
  • 3. Skill development
  • What to include in a 3-year plan
  • 5 Ways to drive your career with a 3-year plan
  • 1. Career development
  • 2. Networking
  • 3. Career exploration
  • 4. Entrepreneurship
  • 5. Education
  • Key takeaways

Those who create a three-year plan can direct their careers with more purpose and less stress. But, what does it take to create an effective plan? What steps do you need to take to write one of your own? In this article, we will look at what goes into creating a great three-year plan and how you can use one to direct your career.

Building a three-year plan can allow you to chart a path to success in both your personal life and your profession. By creating a plan, you can establish a clear vision of where you aspire to be and determine what steps you need to take to get there. After you’ve developed your three-year plan, you can then make better decisions, take opportunities you come across, and tackle challenges you face quickly and decisively.

In this article, we will learn more about what goes into writing a three-year plan and how to use one to drive your career. Here’s what we will be covering:

  • Why is a three-year plan important?

  • What to include in a three-year plan

  • 5 ways to drive your career with your three-year plan

Why is a 3-year plan important?

Strategic planning is a must in today’s business landscape. Since everything changes so rapidly, having a plan can help ensure you reach your goals effectively. There are a number of ways a three-year plan can help you accomplish this. Here are just a few of the reasons why writing one is important:

1. Direction

When you write a three-year plan, you will know where you want to take your career. You can prioritize your goals, determine what you aspire to be, and outline the steps you need to take to get there. Without this direction, you may find your career drifting aimlessly, and you won’t have the tools needed to get back on track.

2. Goal setting

Setting both short-term and long-term goals has always been important for career growth. When writing a three-year plan, you can set goals that are actionable, specific, and measurable. Having your goals clearly delineated and laid out in front of you helps provide you with motivation to continue building your career.

3. Skill development

Once you know where you want to go with your career and what your goals are, it is much easier to decide which skills you need to develop over the next few years. You can also better manage and plan your skill development strategy so that you know how to invest your time effectively.

What to include in a 3-year plan

Now that you know why a three-year plan is important, let’s take a look at some of the things you will want to include in your plan. Here are some examples of what you might create when writing your plan:

  • Career interest. This portion of your three-year plan should include the main long-term goal you want to focus on over the next three years. You can also include smaller goals, but you shouldn’t include so many goals that your plan becomes impossible to achieve. The idea is to create a goal that has measurable results that are attainable in a specific timeframe.

  • Actions. Next, you want to begin deciding what actions are necessary so you are able to reach those goals. These are all the smaller things you need to do to reach your goals and the milestones you will write after this step.

  • Milestones. Your milestones are all the mini goals you reach that let you know you are on track to reach your long-term goal. For example, if you need a new degree to reach your goal, one milestone may be completing the first semester of your coursework or finishing college altogether.

  • Needed skills. Finally, you will need to decide what skills you are lacking to be successful at both reaching your long-term career goal and succeeding at that new level. You will need to work on building those skills strategically to ensure you are ready to tackle that next level in your career.

5 Ways to drive your career with a 3-year plan

Now that you’ve built your three-year plan, let’s learn some of the ways you can use it to drive your career forward. Here are five ways you can put your career plan to work for you in the near future:

1. Career development

The most common way to use a three-year plan is to map out your professional growth strategies and to set career goals. You could use your plan to strive for a promotion at work, get a better job in your industry, or even change roles completely.

2. Networking

Networking is important in many industries, and using your three-year plan to build your network, connect with mentors, attend networking events, and expand connections is never a bad idea.

3. Career exploration

If you are interested in beginning a completely new career, a three-year plan can help you explore your options. You can use it to determine what steps you will need to take to move into a role in your newly chosen career and to learn what skills you need to obtain.

4. Entrepreneurship

A three-year plan is also instrumental when you want to open your own business or to expand the business you currently have. Set goals, develop a learning plan, and decide what coaching services will be needed for you to be successful.

5. Education

If you determine you need further education to reach your career goals, a three-year plan can be instrumental in getting the knowledge you need to be a success.

If you are planning to build a three-year plan with the goal of changing careers, our career exploration tool can help!

Key takeaways

  1. A three-year plan is important because it can provide you with direction, goal setting strategies, and skill development objectives.

  2. Things to include in your plan are your career interests, actions you need to take, milestones you need to reach, and the skills you need to be successful.

  3. Career development, networking, career exploration, entrepreneurship, and education are all areas where you can apply your three-year plan.

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