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Do You Need a 5 Year Career Plan?

"Where do you see yourself in five years?"

Every interviewer, manager, and skip level boss that you've ever had is asked you this question. But do you really need a five year career plan to succeed at work?

In this post, I'm going to give you the answer.

Spoiler Alert - Yes, You Do (with a Cavaet)

WAIT! Before you click the back button since you have your answer, the answer is loaded. Because if you don't know the reasons of having a 5 year plan this is so important, and the four areas of impact that your career success plan will really have, it would be a huge challenge to create a five year plan that was effective and impactful.

So let's explore the reasons why a five year plan will transform your career...

Demonstrates that you have direction

Five Year Career Plan

Ambitious professionals do not float through life.

They have goals that they want to achieve, and they actively create the opportunities to make those a reality. And this is one of the reasons why they get assigned to key projects, they get stretch opportunities, and yes, they even get promoted based on their potential. Because the people who matter know that they have a vision and they have goals that they're working towards.

What this is actually telling people is that this is someone who is going to go and make things happen. They have skin in the game, they're motivated because they know that the success of the company is going to parlay into their career success.

Basically, other people are going to see you as someone who gets stuff done, it's going to help other people see that you are someone who takes professional achievements seriously.

It helps the people that can help you know exactly how to help you

Five Year Career Plan

Okay, let's face it, no one's gonna ask you your five year career plan as small talk.

Trust me, this does not make dinner party conversation.

The people that are going to ask you about your five year career plan are one of two people: either they're someone who's trying to assess if your goals are aligned with them, so that they can say hire you, or they're someone who's in a position to help you achieve the goals. And what they're really asking is how they can help.