Developing a five-year career plan

Regardless of the economic climate, it’s handy to have an idea of what you’re planning to do work-wise, no matter your age. In our latest guide, we map out a comprehensive step-by-step process to define your career planning strategy.

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We’re swamped with information when we finish school about the best decisions to make when embarking on our adult life. Should I go to uni? Should I get an apprenticeship? Should I just travel and give myself some time to figure things out?

Transitioning from school age to adulthood can be tricky. Regardless of where you’re at in your decision-making process, at Sunshine Loans, our advice is to go with your gut instinct. That said, a five-year plan can help you map out your next adventures. Whether that entails university, a job or a determination to travel, having a rough guide to your next few years can help.

Regardless of the economic climate, it’s handy to have an idea of what you’re planning to do work-wise, no matter your age. In our latest guide, we map out a comprehensive step-by-step process to define your career planning strategy.

1. Decide where your passions lie

Whether you have ambitions to be a vet or a mechanical engineer, a teacher or a performer; keep the faith that your career dream will materialise if you put in the work. Establish your key assets and talents to help you define your dream job whilst at school. List out your talents by writing them down, whether they’re soft skills such as people management and problem solving, or skills to lend themselves to leadership, activism or entertainment, you’ll be best placed to determine your ideal role once you have a good understanding of where your strengths lie.

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2. Think about where you want to live

Location is everything when you’re deciding where to pin down your roots from a career perspective. Whether you’re looking to relocate for your dream role or you’ve got your ideal job pinned down locally, it’s common to question where you’re based. You may want to spread your wings and travel overseas for work or you may want to stay in your local area. Keep in mind that your current dream job may not be what you’re looking for in a few years’ time. Base yourself somewhere that’s easy to relocate from. For example, if you’re not 100% on your role, you may want to just rent and look at six-month leases rather than committing to a mortgage.

3. Identify a solid development route

There are numerous tools and platforms available to assist your skill development, with many free courses out there to help you develop your talents. Or, you may want to opt for a paid platform such as Lynda to propel certain expertise such as web development or graphic design.

When you do accept a role, ensure that you ask what the options are for professional development. Good companies are typically keen to invest in their employees and will have a robust training plan in place to enable you to enhance and refine your existing skills and learn new ones.

4. Keep re-visiting your plan

It’s so easy to beat yourself up when you’re not sure what you want to do as a profession. At the end of the day, we’re all human and whether you’re absolutely confident about your dream career or have no idea what your calling is, that’s okay. It doesn’t matter whether you’re convinced that you’ve embarked on a lifelong career or you’re stuck in a transition. Assess where you want to be in a few years. Do you want to be married with children or do you want to be working overseas? Or both? Regardless of your decision, trust your instincts. The average adult re-visits their career three times today. So, it’s okay to chop and change! Follow your passions and the rest of life will follow.

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