Who can deny that planning a career path is a good thing? Who can disagree with Yogi Berra who said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
Why, then, don’t more of us make plans and stick to them? There are at least four reasons we deny career planning, none of which meet the test of common sense?
1. One is fear that we will be seen as failures in our own eyes and those of whose peers if we make a plan and fail to achieve our goals.
2. We don’t plan because we are convinced there’re too many variables beyond our control, which make a plan meaningless. (Sure, there are some variables in every situation; many of then can’t be controlled. But it is still better to have a plan and work around the variables as best we can than to float along hoping for the best that fate can deliver.)
3. We are paralyzed by inertia. Our hopes and dreams are just too big and overwhelming; we don’t know where to start to create a plan. (Visualize the path to your goal as a series of small steps, taken one by one. Getting started is half the struggle. We always feel better after we take that launch step to plan for career success.)
4. We don’t want to commit to a career plan. We are frightened by the thought of being locked in. What if the plan leads to results that we don’t want after all? (The very essence of good planning is to allow for changes that have to be made along the way to take advantage of every opportunity.)
DO PLANS REALLY MATTER?
Hear the career advice of legendary merchant, J. C. Penn, “Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I will give you a successful manager. Give me a stock clerk without a plan I will give you a stock clerk.”