If you intend to start with your next career, why not sit down and work out a career blueprint first? A career blueprint is a plan where you plan to be in the future. It should also be a guide to assist you to make career search decisions at different stage of your life.
Our aspirations and view towards life change at different stage of our career lives. When we first graduated from college, we may look for a job that allows us to learn new things. As we proceed in our career and in life, the remuneration and the exposure would probably be the main search priority. This priority may change when we reach mid-life and it will also be different as we enter into our retirement stage. We also look for different goals out of our career when we face crisis in our lives.
A career blueprint is especially useful when we start with our career search. It is also extremely useful to help us make career change decisions later on in our lives as we develop our career. In a nutshell, a career blueprint should be the guide to help us to proceed with our career lives.
Identifying your career goals
The first step in creating a career blueprint is to understand what are your likes, dislikes and what would be fun for you. Think of your previous job. What do you like and what do you dislike about your previous job? Make a list for several segments. These segments can include:
Employer; Industry; Nature of Work; Office political environment; Size of company; Salary
Think about each of the category carefully. We suggest that you work on what you dislike first. This way, you are able to identify better what you really like.
What you dislike about your job
This list may look something like this
Disliked about boss: – Always micro-manage details; Over-critical; Do not motivate staff; Treat staff as slaves instead of colleagues
Disliked about the industry: – Too contractual; Over-focus on production rather than on quality; Low level of ethics; Hazardous
What You Like About Your Job
Based on the list of what you don’t like, develop your clarity list – what you would like to have about your job. Note that your clarity list is “must-have” list. Your clarity list may look like this:
What I like to have about my future boss: – Allow me to manage my own work; Encouraging; Always motivate staff; Treat staff as colleagues
What I like to have about my work industry: – Not contractual; Focus on quality of works; Ethical; Not hazardous
There is another list which you need to generate. It is called the “Career Fun List”. While this list is not a definite must-have, it will be fantastic to have it. Your career fun list may look something like this:
Boss – Like to hang out with us; Occasionally treat us to sumptuous dinner; Like to be called by his first name
Industry – Provide on the job training to visit other factories; Respected by the public
Job Nature – Flexible working hours; Opportunities to travel overseas
After you have created the above three lists, study each segments carefully. Study the patterns of your previous jobs that make you happy or unhappy. This is a soul-searching exercise and adequate time should be given to ponder over each item on list in details.
Next, you should write your job statement based on the clarity and fun list that you have created. For example, the statement related to your employer may look something like this: I like to have a boss who is understanding, encouraging and allows me to manage my own work. It is great to have a employer who always encourage the staff to work for the benefit of the company and for the staff themselves. I like to have a employer who treats us like his colleagues instead of as a subordinate. It will be fun if he always likes to join us and treat us to sumptuous dinner occasionally.
You should build this statement for each of the category mentioned above. Remember that the results for this exercise are different at different stage of your career life. Hence you should do these exercises each time you intend to pursue a career change.
There is one more final exercise that you should do. Write an article about your ideal first day at the job. You do not need to be realistic in this essay. Write whatever that you think would make you feel happy. You can write that on arrival at your office, you are shown into a 500 square feet room which shall be your work space. You are then introduced to your personal assistant who is pretty. Put in a lot of fun elements into your essay.
As what we have said during the first part of this article, all of us look for different things during different part of our career lives.
If you are able to develop a wonderful job statement and the ideal first day at work for every different stage of your career, then you would have develop the perfect career blueprint for your life.
We suggest that you review and make adjustment to this career blueprint every 5 years of your working life. Things may change and the work industry may change. The work industry that you would like to get involved in may not even exist anymore!