If you have a goal in mind, organizing your plan privately is only part of the path to success. Just because you have your eyes on the prize, management probably isn’t aware of your intentions – and you can’t always do it alone.
By discussing your plans with your supervisors, you are helping to lay the foundation for the future. As leaders in your field, your supervisors can provide you with advice and resources. Furthermore, when they know what you’re interested in accomplishing, they can help you keep an eye out for new opportunities that align with your goals.
To make the most of the discussion with your leadership team, you’ll want to ensure that you’re prepared, informed, and ready to address any questions they may have for you.
Take these steps so that you can bring a well-developed plan with you when the time comes to present your ideas:
Illustrate Your Future Vision
Think about your main career goal and develop the details that come with it.
- What is your perfect workday like?
- What responsibilities do you have?
- What makes you feel accomplished?
- Which tasks make the greatest use of your skills?
Keep these points in mind so that you can be sure your plan ticks all the boxes you need.
Create a List of Measurable Mini-Goals
Once you know what you want to do, you need to come up with measurable steps to follow from Point A to Point B. When your managers ask you how you plan to achieve your professional goals, you want to have an actionable process to present.
Plot a Reasonable Timeline
Knowing how long each step will take to accomplish is a big part of the planning process. Don’t cut your timeline too short, but don’t give yourself enough time to lose focus.
Schedule a Meeting with Your Leadership Team
When you’ve practiced how you’re going to present your plan, schedule a time that’s convenient for yourself and your leadership team. This way, you’ll have their undivided attention when you meet with them. Have an estimate ready for how long you expect the meeting to take so that you can cover everything you need to discuss. Also, consider having an agenda to distribute at or before the meeting. Not only will this keep you on task, but having your goals written down will serve as a reminder of what was discussed after the meeting is done.
Your leadership team will likely have feedback for you. Accept it and evaluate the advice they give you so that you can use their expertise to fortify your plan.
Remember, you want management to understand that you’ve spent considerable time planning for your future. Don’t simply say, “I’ve given this a lot of thought.” Ensure that the information you provide and the conversation will convey that you know what you’re talking about, and you are prepared to take action.