Building a Blue-Print for your Future

Susie Buysse, Career Services Manager

One of my favorite quotes is “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing” by Theodore Roosevelt. It’s thought-provoking. What do you love to do? What motivates you to do your best work? Who are you becoming?

These questions often surface when a TMMBA student or graduate talks about a wish to contribute to the betterment of society or people. This can take many forms ― joining the renewable energy industry, working for a company that models corporate philanthropy, or perhaps becoming a fair leader with both business and technical strengths.

In Developing a Strategic Vision for Your Career Plan, Randall S. Hansen, PhD. outlines key steps for building a short term plan:
•Analyze your current/future lifestyle. Be sure to identify the key characteristics of your ideal lifestyle.
•Analyze your likes/dislikes. What kinds of activities — both at work and at play — do you enjoy?
•Analyze your passions. Reflect on the times and situations in which you feel most passionate, most energetic, most engaged and see if you can develop a common profile of these situations.
•Analyze your strengths and weaknesses. Think in terms of work experience, education/training, skill development, talents and abilities, technical knowledge, and personal characteristics.
•Analyze your definition of success.
•Analyze your personality.
•Analyze your dream job. Look for ideas internally, but also make the effort to explore/research other careers that interest you.
•Analyze your current situation. Before you can even do any planning, clearly and realistically identify your starting point.
Here is an additional interesting tip. “A study of Harvard students 10 years after graduation showed that those who had specific goals made salaries three times greater than the salary of the average Harvard graduate. Those with written goals made 10 times the average.” (“Targeting the Job You Want,” Kate Wendleton)

I recommend taking the time to define your career ambitions and set specific goals. The self-reflection is often insightful and can certainly be helpful in defining your next or future career steps.