Career Plan / Goal Setting Examples

p>I’ve talked in a general way about creating a career plan and setting goals for success. I sometimes find it confusing when I try to turn generalities into specifics without examples, so I thought I’d create a couple of sample career plans and set a few goals based on them. Since I’m a pre-published writer, the career plans I’ve created for my examples are for a fictitious pre-published writer (I’m going with what I know :-).

First up is an example career plan and goals for a pre-published writer who wants to be published via traditional publishing.

Career Plan #1

Long-Term Objectives (5+ years)

Remember, these objectives are the most fluid and subject to change; your “dream prizes.”

  • Have multiple books published
  • Have multiple books contracted
  • Have at least one book on a Best Seller list

Medium-Term Objectives (2 to 3 years)

Remember, these objectives should seem very achievable if everything goes right

  • Have an Agent
  • Have at least one book published
  • Have at least one book contracted

Short-Term Objectives (2012)

  1. Complete at least the first drafts of multiple books
  2. Learn more about publishing
  3. Search for an Agent

2012 Goals for Career Plan #1

Remember, your goals should be specific, relevant to your short-term objectives, and they should have a deadline.

  1. Complete first draft of book #1 by end of April/beginning of May (Objective #1)
    • Complete initial research by January 31st
    • Start writing February 1st
    • Write 1500 words per day until draft completed
  2. Complete first draft of book #2 by end of October/beginning of November (Objective #1)
    • Complete initial research by July 31st
    • Start writing August 1st
    • Write 1500 words per day until draft completed
  3. Attend RWA National Conference in July (Objective #2, Objective #3)
  4. Read Romance Writers Report monthly (Objective #2)
  5. Create list of “dream agents” (Objective #3)
    • Determine research method by mid-January (Writer Beware, Predators & Editors, Agents of authors with similar writing styles/genres, etc.)
    • Prepare initial list by mid-February
    • Revise list monthly
  6. Query Agents on “dream” list (Objective #3)
    • Create and refine query letter by mid-March
    • Polish partial submission pages (up to 1st three chapters, depending on agent submission policies)
    • Query Agents on list starting in April (lather, rinse, repeat–i.e. on a monthly basis)

I’m sure you can think of more (or different) objectives and goals for this writer. Don’t forget, there’s no right or wrong about any of this–it’s all personal.

Next up is an example career plan and goals of a pre-published writer who has decided to self-publish. It’s a bit more sparse than the first plan because I’m not as familiar with self-publishing, so I’m not as sure about what might be realistic short-, medium-, and long-term objectives.

Career Plan #2

Long-Term Objectives (5+ years)

Remember, these objectives are the most fluid and subject to change; your “dream prizes.”

  • Have multiple books published
  • Have at least one book on a Best Seller list

Medium-Term Objectives (2 to 3 years)

Remember, these objectives should seem very achievable if everything goes right

  • Have at least one book published
  • Have multiple books ready for publishing

Short-Term Objectives (2012)

  1. Complete at least the first drafts of multiple books
  2. Revise and prepare one (already completed) book for self-publication
  3. Learn more about self-publishing
  4. Have a plan for self-publication

2012 Goals for Career Plan #2

Remember, your goals should be specific, relevant to your short-term objectives, and they should have a deadline.

  1. Complete first draft of book #1 by end of April/beginning of May (Objective #1)
    • Complete initial research by January 31st
    • Start writing February 1st
    • Write 1500 words per day until draft completed
  2. Complete first draft of book #2 by end of October/beginning of November (Objective #1)
    • Complete initial research by July 31st
    • Start writing August 1st
    • Write 1500 words per day until draft completed
  3. Revise book for self-publication (Objective #2)
    • Choose strongest book by March 1st for first venture into self-publishing (criteria for strongest TBD)
    • Send book to multiple critique partners (at least 2) by mid-March
    • Complete final revisions by mid-August
  4. Prepare list of online blogs and websites with articles about self-publishing by end of January (Objective #3)
  5. Read articles from list of blogs/websites on a weekly basis (Objective #3)
  6. Research how to create various e-book formats by end of April (Objective #3)
  7. Research how to design book covers by end of May (Objective #3)
  8. Research self-marketing / publicizing by end of August (Objective #3)
  9. Research e-book pricing and payout (Objective #3)
  10. Create a publication plan by end of November based on research done (Objective #4)

There you have it. If our fictitious writers revisit, revise and track their goals throughout the year, they should be well on their way to meeting their short-term objectives.

Is this the only way to create a career plan and set goals? That would be an emphatic NO. It’s just the method I find works for ME. Hopefully you’ll have found something worthwhile in all of this, and perhaps it will even lead you to create your first career plan–in whatever form works for YOU.

Cheers!

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