Personal Plan of Attack

“Being busy does not always mean real work.  The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration.  Seeming to do is not doing.” – Thomas Edison.

One of the major problems of being In Transition is that your entire life is in mid-air and that because you don’t know where you are going to be in the near term you have too many options to contemplate.  For those who professionally plan, it is extremely difficult to find yourself in a holding pattern with no firm plans for the future while anticipating numerous options that may never come to pass.

The Soviets were famous for their 7 year plans while most organizations are proud of their 3 to 5 year strat plans, but for those of us who are in an intersection looking at too many roads before us, life right now is certainly interesting and not all that negative when you think about it.  I guess it is our opportunity to recreate ourselves!

Managers of all kinds are bred to plan.  We are taught early on that if you are going to succeed in business you need to look to the future and meet specific goals.  I have had the luxury of facilitating and being part of numerous planning sesssions over the years but when you are in the middle of a personal transition, such planning becomes a bit more difficult.

The disappointment of not closing on the “ideal job” is that many candidates throw all their eggs in one basket and once the rejection letter comes to pass they have no viable options and need to start all over again.  In such a job market as we are experiencing right now, starting all over can take up to 3 or 4 additional months.  This is where personal planning comes to play.

In Transition Planning is just as important as any other planning effort because without forethought this process can take the best out of anyone.  Working with recruiters and search committees is a time consuming protocol and the last place you want to find yourself is up the transition creek with just one paddle.

The successful job seeker develops numerous options with the best of situations being that ultimately you will have the luxury of choosing your next great destination, rather than being forced to settle for the one lone offer (if that).  To achieve such a windfall is to plan and continually network so that there is a wider spectrum to work with for your future.  Investigate all possibilities and don’t get stuck with a roadmap that is only taking you in one direction.  Be creative while also determining where you want to make your next professional stop.

Of course the best of plans are those that are creative and flexible.  I really doubt that you seriously contemplated that you would be in transition right now, but in retrospect a viable personal plan should have.  Too many individuals are taking professional and personal detours due to conditions beyond their control.  Somehow, someway you should have planned for just this happenstance.  Planning does indeed make the fall much more tolerable and the rebound extensively faster.

During these summer vacation months, many families enjoy trips that are flexible and prone to take the least travelled path, but when you are planning your professional career – it behooves all of us to contemplate all possibilities and maybe even drop some birdseeds along the way so that you can find your way out of the forest.

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Dan Borschke is a Certified Association Executive who has been a CEO for 3 distinct trade associations in his career.  He is one of only 230 Association Executives worldwide who has been granted with the prestigious designation of Fellow by the American Society of Association Executives.  He currently is between positions and has written more than 50,000 words or 100 blog postings on the topics of job search and career transition.

Copyright:  MMXI.  Reprint of this article is permitted if the above paragraph is included.

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