If someone were to ask you what you’ll be doing in five year’s time, what would you say? Are you one of the many of us who would have no idea how to answer. Where to begin? You don’t even know for sure what you’ll be doing in five day’s time, let alone five years!
But why does it matter anyway?
Well, if you have a dream job which you’d like to do one day, or maybe just an end goal like owning your own home, it’s going to be really hard to get there without a plan. But even if you don’t have any definite ideas of where you want to be in five year’s time, you should still make a plan. In fact, in many ways, if you don’t know where you want to be in five year’s time it’s even more important to make a plan for yourself.
So how do you start?
First, think about what motivates you. What do you enjoy doing? What makes you feel fulfilled and passionate? If you love baking, maybe you’d like to own your own baking business and have that as your full-time job in five year’s time. Or if you love the work you’re in, maybe you’d like to move up in the industry.
The next step, once you’ve worked out what it is that you want, is to write down what your strengths and weaknesses are. By doing this you can see what you’re already accomplished in and think about how you can use these skills to move towards your goal, and you can also see where the gaps in your knowledge are. Then go about filling the gaps that need filling.
For example, if you want to start your own business, but don’t know where to begin, you might want to do a business qualification first. If you want to move up in your industry, but don’t have all the skills you need to do so, maybe you could ask to do some workplace development courses, or find a mentor who is working in a similar role to the one you want who can help you get there.
The third thing to do, which is partially linked to step two, is to find ways to overcome the non-skilled related things in your way. Write down what is stopping you from reaching your goal and think of what you can do to remove those barriers. Potential barriers may include a lack of money, a lack of time, or a lack of opportunity.
For a lack of money, a business loan or saving up – perhaps reducing the number of non-essential things you buy may help. For a lack of time, write down what you spend your time doing and see what you could reduce or cut out completely to free some time up – scrolling through Twitter and Instagram for hours on end, or binging on Netflix, are prime examples of where you can get some time back. Lack of opportunity in your company? Maybe you need to apply for a position in a new company that has upward growth potential.
Your five-year plan doesn’t need to be set in stone. It will naturally change over time, and that’s ok. It’s not about limiting your options and stopping you from being able to change your mind, it’s about helping you to reach your current goals. If your goals change, no problem! It’s simply time to write yourself a new plan!