Top tips for successful career planning

Career planning puts you in charge – it enables you to set your own goals and take steps to achieve them. What you want from your facilities management career will probably change radically over the course of your working life, so it’s a good idea to take some time once or twice a year, to review what you really want from your career, and start taking steps to achieve it.

Follow these five steps to make career planning a reality for you.

1. Give yourself some space and time
The best way to review what’s happened so far, and where you want to go now, is in peace and quiet, without distractions. That’s difficult if you have a noisy family or flatmates around – so maybe drive or walk to a quiet place with your notebook, and give yourself an hour or two of reflection time. Pay attention to how you feel about things, as well as what you think about them.

2. Reflection first
Look back at what has happened since the last time you did this – or since you entered the profession if this is the first time you’ve reviewed your career. Many people find it helpful to draw a diagram or a map to sum up what’s happened so far. Maybe a job that you wanted turned out to be a wrong turning. Or maybe a dreaded redundancy has turned into a great turning point. Write it all down.

3. Assess yourself
Write down what satisfies and what frustrates you about your current job. What do you like and dislike? What would you keep and what would you change? Try and separate needs from wants, so that you can look at each dispassionately. Are you doing things to please someone else? If you could please yourself, what would you do? What is your real motivation – be honest.

4. Set your goals
Remember, your goals don’t have to be more money, or promotion, or a better car, if that’s not what you really want. If you want a shorter commute, more time for your personal life, or to take a degree, these are also goals to concentrate on.

Then decide on any compromises you’re willing to make. If you want more money, are you prepared to travel further? If you want more time, are you prepared to earn less, or move sideways? Gradually, you’ll be drawing up a framework that you can use as a guide to achieving the career you want.

5. Write down the steps that will get you there
Do you need to explain it to your partner? Get a new qualification? Update your CV?

If you want to move into facilities management in a new sector, research this. Take a look at the jobs being advertised that you’d like to do, and figure out how to get the qualifications or experience they’re asking for. Getting your CV up to date is a great first start.

Unemployment in the UK is at an all-time low – so there couldn’t be a better time to change job or go for a promotion!