Career planning can make your future bigger than your past

Back in the day, I recall in development review meetings my boss asking, ‘Where do you want to be five years from now?’ Maybe you had a similar experience. It always seemed like a tricky question to answer. Who knew five years earlier I would be where I was now? Like most of us, I grabbed opportunities as they were going past. Also, when I tried to picture the future, I could not envisage how my environment would change in ways I could not imagine. Perhaps, like me, you came up with something that sounded plausible like, ‘Well, I want your job!’ But it raises the importance of career planning, even if we don’t know where we want to be five years from now.

What if we reframed the question into will you be satisfied if you’re still in the same job in five years? If you ignore your own development, it is quite likely you could be facing the same problems and circumstances. Will you be fulfilled if that happens?

If you are not growing, you could be part of the workforce who are looking to leave their job. Gallup’s 2023 State of the Global Workplace report found across the countries and areas surveyed around the globe, 51% of currently employed workers said they are watching for or actively seeking a new job. Increased pay is a top factor in what people want in their next job. But enhanced wellbeing and opportunities to grow and develop are also highly valued by job seekers, according to the Gallup survey.

Unless you are creating a future that is bigger than your past, chances are you are going backwards. Whilst it is a human tendency to gravitate toward comfort, it will aggravate our lack of satisfaction and fulfilment. Dan Sullivan, in The Laws of Lifetime Growth, suggests that, “In order to make your future bigger than your past, you first have to want and believe that it’s possible to have a bigger future, no matter what stage you’re at in life or what your circumstances are. Often, this belief alone is enough to keep you growing. And often it takes a great deal of courage.”

🙋 How could you make your future bigger than your past? 🙋‍♀️

Best regards, Brian