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Almost everyone has some sort of significant goal or aspiration they hope to achieve in the future. For a lot of people, this includes some type of long-term career plan or dream job that they would like to obtain.

While these major objectives may seem difficult or even impossible to achieve, they can appear much more manageable through the use of a career plan. The future can provide an extremely uncertain ride, but having a solid career plan in place can serve as a reliable roadmap to get you wherever you would like to go. Here are three reasons why you should have a solid career plan.

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In order to have a productive discussion about career growth with your manager, it is important for you to prepare and think through some key items ahead of time. You want to be in full control of your career path and the best way to do that is to approach your manager with confidence and conviction around your career growth goals.

To prepare for the discussion, start by answering some basic questions about yourself and your career:

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Habits. The biggest difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people challenge themselves to make simple habit changes (and actually follow through). (Having trouble following through on your goals? Watch this free 20-minute webinar for quick habit hacks for 2017.) At the beginning of every year, all of us think, “This is going to be MY year. I’m going to set goals for myself and get what I want -- finally.” But how many of us ACTUALLY follow through with those goals? If you have some career goals for 2017, you need to make some habit changes in order to actually get stuff done.

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Having a career is nothing like having a job. When you find your career, you know it, and you should be spending some level of energy managing it. Related: Career Management: Top 10 Career Limiting Moves We must all start being more active in our career and its management. We must start to own our experience. And when we own our experience, and are active in the management of our career, we must do six simple things.

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