Look around at the most impressive buildings in your town: the ornate churches, gleaming office buildings, and fanciest homes. Despite being totally different, you can guarantee they all started in the same place — with a set of blueprints. These detailed drawings that lay out the foundations, structure and dimensions of the project are essential to guiding the process of building so that no important factors are left out. The blueprints are examined, changed where potential problems are noted, and referred to during the entire process.
Along the same lines, you don’t build an impressive career without first having a career blueprint. This doesn’t have to be a big piece of paper with diagrams, but there should be a carefully-thought-out plan that you follow to make sure all the important factors are being addressed. You should be looking at your career blueprint at least once a year, updating and revising when necessary, and always thinking about these questions:
- Do I still have the same career goals?
- Should I update my resume?
- Are my social media accounts synced up and employer-friendly?
- What’s working for me?
- What needs to change?
- How can I implement those changes?
The start of the new year, with everyone making resolutions, is a time many people set aside to think carefully about their career path. But too often all those New Year’s Resolutions end up ignored in February! Most people decide to toss the blueprint they were using and start over, then they get discouraged because it is too much change, too fast, and too difficult to maintain. Creating a workable blueprint that you can commit to is key.
Of course, like with construction, sometimes things aren’t holding up and you have to tear down the old building and start over. However, often there is a lot about your career path that is working well, and – like a remodeling project – you want to build on that good foundation with small changes instead of completely changing an area.
A blueprint is a carefully designed picture of the planned project that is followed, evaluated, and only redesigned when necessary. The blueprint for your career should be treated the same way. And just like with a blueprint, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for professional help to put your best foot forward.