Today’s Work It Daily Challenge is to stop bailing on your plans. Don’t you hate it when you have plans with someone and they bail last minute? Isn’t it even worse when you KNOW they’re going to ditch you but they wait until the last minute to do it? You know how irritating that can be, but have you ever thought of how often YOU end up flaking out on plans? It’s easy to call others out when they don’t keep their promises, but when it comes to your own actions, you might not be aware of how much you cancel on others. Think about last week: did you keep all of your plans? How many cancellations did you make? Why did you end up canceling? Bailing on plans when there's an emergency is one thing. Flaking out because you just don't feel like doing it isn't necessarily a route you want to take too often. If you do this too much, people will stop relying on you. Or worse, stop inviting you to things altogether. Today, be more aware of both your professional and social obligations, and stop bailing on your plans. Unless there’s an emergency, force yourself to follow through with your promises. If you’re having a hard time doing this, you might be over-scheduling yourself. Before making plans, think about what you can realistically do this week. That way, instead of canceling plans, you simply don’t make them. This will make you feel more in control of your social and professional obligations, and less guilty about missing events. Plus, it will improve your social life and strengthen your network. What do you do to stop bailing on your plans? Let us know!
Depending on where you are in your career, and how you feel about making "plans" for your life, creating a career plan may or may not be a welcoming idea. However, it is a step that is vital to ensure you are focused on your career objectives and are taking the right steps along the journey to get there. Related: Your Career Six-Pack: Become A 360° Career Strategist A career plan can be whatever you want it to be. It can be a short-term or a long-term plan, or both. That is the beauty of it; you get to decide. It is your plan. Regardless of whether you want a long or a short-term plan, there are several key aspects to include in your plan. First, you want to have an end result. What are you trying to achieve? It might be the next job or assignment you want to reach in the next twelve months, or it might be the ultimate C-Suite position you are trying to reach in the next five years. This is the objective of your plan, and by establishing it, you set your plan's foundation. Next, identify your strengths. These are the areas you can leverage as you work on reaching your career objective. Next, you want to identify the areas where you need to develop. Perhaps you already know you need to develop a specific skill or you need leadership training to reach your objective; however, if you do not know where you need development, take some time to find out. Talk to leaders and colleagues who you work with and respect and ask them for some feedback. You can also get a mentor who can help guide you as you put your career plan together. This person should be someone who can help you determine where you need to develop and provide guidance on how to achieve your objectives. The last essential aspect of the career plan is to weigh it against your values and motivators. Are you striving towards something that matches what you have identified as your values? Are you motivated by the prospect of developing and growing into this career objective you have set? Hopefully the answer is yes, but if it is not, then take some time to reflect and revise so you are creating a career plan that matches your values and motivates you. This will ultimately keep you satisfied with your career. Another item to note is career plans are not permanent; therefore, they should be revisited frequently (on an annual basis, at a minimum). This allows you to assess how you are doing against your objectives, as well as assess whether or not you are still on a path most satisfying for you. Your career plan should be revised accordingly. Remember, that is the beauty of it; you are in control and you get to decide. It is your plan. This post was originally published at an earlier date.