Phase 4, Step 13 - Write Down Your Career Action Plan
Step 13: When you have completed Phase 3, you know where you are heading, what you want and have customized your resume and cover letter. You are now ready to roll into an active job search. However, to be effective, one needs a plan. Plans can change, but to quote the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland, “It really doesn’t matter which way you go if you don’t know where you’re heading in the first place”.
Studies show that you are more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. Goals are even more achievable when you write them down AND share them with someone. Having documentation of your analysis, personal inventories, goals and action plans, enables you to continuously reflect, adjust and reframe your job search strategy. This document will be valuable to you in the future as you transition from MBA to full employment. The Career Management Team understands your interests, strengths and goals and desire to coach you as you strive to achieve. We therefore ask that you write down your Career Action Plan and submit the product to us.
This step is complete after you have written and submitted a Career Action Plan and reviewed it with one of the Career Management staff members.
Questions to ask yourself:
- What are job titles, companies and industries are of interest to you? What is your plan A: ideal company, job title, industry?
- What is your plan B? Plan C or back-up plan?
- How can you show unique value in this chosen field?
- If you’ve narrowed it to 2 or 3 areas. What unanswered questions do you have that will help you decide which career path to take?
- What are your long-term (5-10 yr goals), medium term (1-3 yr goals) and short term (3m to 1 yr) goals?
- What action steps will you need to take to reach your goals this school year?
- How will you achieve them? What’s your strategy?
- What is your timeline to do these action steps?
- How will you measure your success?
- Review all of the deliverables you have uploaded to Optimal Resume and think of how these might have changed (or stayed the same) over the process of going through Phases one to three.
- Draft an analysis of the marketplace from the research you did in step one and combine it with the research from Step 6.
- Draft a self analysis from the inventories, feedback and reflection that you did in steps 2-4. Add a table of scores from the various inventories.
- Draft a list of criteria that will help you determine which job fields, industries, locations or cultures might be a good fit for you.
- Define your area(s) of interest as they are now. NOTE: It is fine to have multiple areas of interest at this stage. However, if you haven’t narrowed down your field at all by now, go back to steps 6 and 7.
- Draft a list of questions that you have about the field(s) you are considering. NOTE: These might be great questions to ask in informational interviews in step 7 or to research online in step 6.
- List one to five professional development goals you might have. NOTE: Those of you in the mentorship program can use the same list here.
- Draft an action plan including SMART goals to achieve your short term objectives listed above. NOTE: Each action item should be Specific Measurable Achievable Results-oriented and include a Timeline for achieving it. Break each goal into smaller goals and set dates to achieve each one. Timeline should include at the minimum steps needed to take in fall and spring term.
- Review your plan with your Peer Career Advisor or a colleague and gather feedback.
- If you’re a first year student, submit your edited Career Plan (with no more than 5 pages) to Career Management on or before October 31.
- Schedule an appointment with Beth or Shelby to review your career plan
Deliverable for GSM5108:
Career Action Plan Due 10/29/2012 (no more than 5 pages + appendices). Your career plan should bring together all the deliverables you’ve created in previous steps. Summarize them below into the following sections.
- Executive Summary (Start with your Plan A and then summarize the rest of the paper right up front)
- Self Evaluation (Table of scores, analysis of inventories and feedback from others)
- Market Analysis – Summary of your 10 informationals and online research include in an appendix, the list of people, list of 50 companies.
- Branding and Positioning – Summary of why you are a great candidate for your chosen field, clearly indicating your value proposition, transferrable skills, your elevator pitch and your story.
- Goals and timeline: Include Objective, Goals, Tactics or sub-goals with a timeline, strategy for achieving your goals and metrics (how will you measure your success on this plan). Also include Plan B and your back-up plan. The timeline should be from now until you secure your summer internship.
Why this is important:
There are no natural interviewers. Interviewing is a learned skill like presenting in front of a large group. You want to practice your story, why you want to work at the company, and prepare examples related to the job in advance. Salaries are not typically posted on job descriptions so you must be prepared to share a salary range or expectation that aligns with the market.