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How to Get Started on Your Strategic Career Plan for the New Year

At, we understand the importance of having a clear career path. I’m clear on my path now, but it wasn’t always that way. 16 years ago when I founded my business, I was clueless about what I was going to do long-term. I had jumped around from job to job- I had 5 different jobs before age 28- and I knew I wanted to coach but I had no idea how to run a business, much less create a strategic career and business plan.

I learned by trying and failing often, which put me behind schedule in reaching my goals. A recent study showed that the average professional will change jobs 10 to 15 times in their career. I want to help you understand what I have learned in order to determine and define your strategic career plan.

There are three main keys to a strategic career plan:

  1. Define your career aspirations.
  2. Build your personal brand.
  3. Develop your plan.

For more information about creating your strategic career plan, download our free presentation, 3 Keys to Unlock YOUR Strategic Career Plan.

To define your career aspirations, you need to determine who you are, where you are going, and how you will get there. This will allow you to create a better vision for your career future.

For example, think about your interests, your values, and your strengths. Next, ask yourself about your career goals. This can include the lifestyle, work environment, and position that you want. Then, think about what you may need to do to reach those goals, perhaps additional schooling, training, or sharpening a skill set.

(Not sure if your career is the right fit for you long-term? Take our free Ideal Career quiz!)

Having a personal brand is important, but underutilized. In fact, less than 15% of professionals have a defined brand. Your personal brand is related to your career aspirations in the sense that it involves knowing your values, your strengths, and your soft skills. However, a personal brand goes a little further. It includes the results you achieve because of those three things.

Your branding statement should include the following elements: who you serve, what unique value you provide, and how you deliver (your results).

With these elements, you are in a better place to create your strategic career plan. To do this, think about where you want to be in one, three, and five years from now. However, start about thinking about five years from now first, because this allows you to create more of a long-term vision for yourself. Then determine where you need to be in three years and in one year to make that happen. This is something that you should write down and check quarterly.

We hope that you have a wonderful holiday season! We wish you and your family the best for the holidays, and a peaceful, prosperous, happy new year.

Hallie Crawford
Certified Career Coach and Founder of