Do you need a “Career Reset”?

Jun 16, 2011 | Career Development

(Part 1 of a 3-part series)
Have you ever gone to your kitchen to start making a meal and realized you’re missing several key ingredients that you need to complete the recipes or menu you had in mind?  Sometimes you can successfully substitute; other times, it turns into a less than appetizing menu.  By not having your menus planned out before you went to the store to buy groceries, you find yourself  in a position of either changing the menu completely or settling for what was in your fridge or cupboards.  Ultimately, you probably produced a meal that was less than satisfying compared to what you had in mind in the beginning, didn’t you?Well, running your administrative career (or your life) without a strategic plan is like preparing a meal without the right ingredients or sometimes without even having a recipe at all.  You have no idea what you’re working with, things happen to you, and you are reacting instead of you making things happen. And your final result is often less than appealing or appetizing.  You’re left wanting more…or worse yet, you’re left with regret.Your administrative career should not be left to chance.  Success-minded admins don’t put their career on autopilot and hope things work out.  They create a proactive strategic plan that lays out the details, timelines, and desired outcomes not only to reach goals, but to propel their careers forward.  This is true for anyone.  Whether you’re in a position you love or feel like your career has stalled for the moment and you need to hit “reset”, a strategic career plan will help. It will help you be better prepared to make the transition if or when a new opportunity presents itself.  This isn’t an activity you do once and put it on the shelf.  Strategic career planning is an ongoing process that you will revisit frequently.When we first connected, you probably received a free copy of my special report: “From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan.” (If not, click here and download your FREE copy now.) I hope you’ve taken time to read through it and begin putting a career plan together for yourself.  But if you haven’t, NOW is the perfect time to get started.  I created this report to help Administrative Professionals take a more thoughtful and proactive approach to planning their careers.  It doesn’t mean that good things won’t happen for you professionally if you don’t have a career plan. But when you DO have a plan, you begin to achieve and accomplish things in a much more proactive and coordinated way and typically at a much faster pace because what you track and measure improves.

What is a strategic career plan?

Let’s start by defining “career”.  A career is simply defined as “one’s progress through life or in one’s work.” Notice this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be paid in order to have a career (although most are); your volunteer and philanthropic activities apply here also.  Every human being who takes pride in themselves, their skills, and the work product they produce, is in a career whether they realize it or not.  That includes you.

A strategic career plan is:

  • A combination of your personal vision, mission, and goals used to guide your professional growth and development.
  • A guide to help you make the right decisions about how to pursue opportunities for training, skills development, new positions, setting goals, and more.
  • For individuals who want to grow, remain marketable, or become more competitive in their fields.

It becomes the mindset from which you make important decisions about how you allocate your time, money, and energy in pursuing your goals – which is what makes it so vital to your success.

But this doesn’t have to be complicated.  This doesn’t have to be a fancy spreadsheet or document, it can be as simple as purchasing a hard cover, spiral bound journal where you write these things down.  I have used a fun, Mary Englebreit themed journal for the past three years which is dedicated solely to my strategic career plan and related notes.  Each year, I add a new tab to the place where I begin the new year’s brainstorming and planning.  Whatever you use, make it bright, cheerful, and inspiring.

Most strategic career plans address three key areas:

  • Where are you now?
  • Where are you going?
  • How do you get there?

It’s that simple.

In this 3-part series, I’m going to take you through a mid-year “career reset” and share some tips and strategies that will help you proactively engage in planning your career to take you exactly where you want to go.

So here is your homework assignment for this week:

  • Download my free report (if you haven’t already)
  • Read the report from start to finish (It’s nicely spaced, so it won’t take you that long!).
  • Then begin thinking about and writing down the answers to the questions in the “Where are you now” section.
  • Finally, take a few minutes and complete this exercise: Mission Statement Builder (Personal) through the Franklin Covey website (Just trust me on this…it’s an awesome tool and the BEST way I’ve discovered yet to get started creating your personal mission statement! And YES – you DO need one.)

I’ll be back to share more with you in part 2 of this mid-year “career reset” series next week.

Click here to read part 2:
Click here to read part 3:

© 2011 Julie Perrine International, LLC


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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity. And request your free copy of our special report “From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan” at

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