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.
Yesterday I talked about creating a career plan with short, medium and long-term objectives. Today, I’m going to talk about setting goals. You might be wondering what the difference is between an objective and a goal. The terms can be used interchangeably. For my purposes, though, I prefer to think of goals as the concrete tasks I need to perform to attain the career I desire (my objectives). I find keeping the two terms separate and specific makes the process less confusing.
How, and whether, you achieve your career objectives depends on the goals you set. Creating realistic goals can make the difference between having your dream writing career and floundering around wondering why the things you want are always out of reach. So, how do you know if you’ve set the right goals?
Yesterday I talked about career planning and goal setting in a general way. If you’re going to approach writing as a career, rather than a hobby that pays you on occasion, then you need a plan. How will you know if you’re a success if you haven’t defined what success means? Just remember that my definition of success will be different than your definition–and that’s the way it should be.
Knowing you should have a plan is one half of the job; creating that plan is the other half. There are myriad ways to create a career plan and opinions will differ on which way is best. The bottom line is, use the method that works for you. What I use isn’t revolutionary, nor did I invent it. All it is, is the method that works for me.
How to Create Your Career Plan
- Be honest with yourself.
This is your career. Don’t worry about what someone else thinks you should do or achieve, or what any other writer is doing. They don’t matter; you do.
It’s the New Year. The time when most of us look at where we are and think about what we want to change. There’s something about new beginnings, isn’t there? Everything seems possible, if we just work hard enough. So we set about making our resolutions for the coming year, dreaming about all the things we’d love to accomplish. For some of us, that’s good enough–we’ll work on our New Year’s resolutions (or most of them) and be successful. The rest of us? Eh, not so much. I think that’s because making New Year’s resolutions is fine for minor things, but do you really want to base your writing career on such flimsy things? Yeah, me neither.
Forget about making those resolutions–to be successful at any career, what you need is a career plan and achievable goals. I spent enough years working for Big Business (multi-national corporations with 30,000+ employees) to know the benefit, not only of planning, but planning well. If you think this subject is a bore or not applicable to you (But I just want to write!), don’t turn away just yet. I hated the yearly planning/goal setting process when I worked for Big Business. The goals of my departments rarely changed and career planning was, to put it mildly, a joke. I understood the reasons for planning and setting goals–after all, managers had to have something to use to measure their employees’ productivity–but since I’ve always been a self-starter and over achiever, I rarely needed the reminder of where and how to prioritize my work.
Since focusing on writing as a career, I find that my attitude toward career planning and goal setting has drastically changed. I like the following quote from Kristen Lamb: “All Authors are Entrepreneurs.” That’s especially true in this age of turmoil and change in the publishing world. Suddenly, career planning and goal setting have become meaningful to me.