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Personal development 5 Years plan

No 5-Year Plan?

5-Year Plan DevelopmentThere’s a very simple answer to this question: Get one! However, if you are looking for a 5-Year Plan that supports your accomplishment of the plan, here are the key things to consider.

Related: 3 Steps To Create Your Own Career Development Plan

Traditionally, the time frame for planning would consider a 5-Year Plan as ‘short-term’ planning, with ‘long-term’ planning described as 6-10 years. But the rate of change, particularly the rapid change of technology has changed the way you need to plan–and to build in a much higher ability to be flexible in recognizing and adapting to those changes.

Despite these overall changes in your planning framework, you still need to create a planning cycle for five years, four years, three years, two years, one year, six months…

Before you start developing a 5-Year Plan, what is the ‘vision’ for your future, for your career, for your life. Your vision is a specific, detailed picture of your ideal future. It is based on a thoughtful effort to define that future.

Career expert Richard Nelson Bolles talks about discovering your ‘mission’ in life. He defines three levels for a personal, family, and career ‘mission.’ The concern here is your career–using the talents you have been given, the talents you’ve developed, in a way that makes you feel strong and offers value to your organization, your community, your world.

Futurist Joel Barker provides reliable advice on developing a powerful vision:

Developed by leaders. This is your vision, your responsibility. It is not given to you by others.

Shared with team. Who’s your team? Family? Friends? Colleagues? ‘Shared’ does not mean giving them control of your vision. It does mean enlisting their input and support.

Comprehensive and detailed. It is not as simple as ‘I want to start my own business, ’ or ‘I want to be an engineer.’

Positive and inspiring. Simply stated, your vision should appeal to your head (logical), your heart (passion), and your feet (action).

For many years, I facilitated a workshop that focused on understanding the dynamics of peak performance, in part looking at those famous individuals known to most and individuals participants knew personally–but always those who excelled as passionate performers in their fields.

A major exercise in the program was the creation of a personal, career vision. I do not recall a single session where one participant did not express their ‘goal’ of opening their own business. This always offered a perfect opportunity to challenge the visions of almost everyone in the workshop:

  • What kind of a business are you planning on starting? Surprisingly, only a small percentage of people had an answer to this.
  • What’s the name of your business? Even if a participant had a specific business idea, rarely did they have a name for it.
  • What have you done, specifically, in the last six months to get you closer to your goal?
  • What have you done, specifically, in the last week?


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