Career Planning is a way to project where you want to be over a period of time. Some of us have more career time than others, but the formula is:
Define where you are now in your career (your starting point)
Define where you want to be at the end of your career (your ultimate goal)
Define the steps and time-line between steps to get to your ultimate goal (how to get there)
Sounds simple, but most times something happens in between those steps that prevent you from achieving the plan that is on paper: Life gets in the way. What those impediments are, and what you do about them determines if you’ll reach your ultimate goal or not.
Another factor identified through a recent research study by Voya Financial in early 2015, states that 60% of Americans have to retire sooner than they’d planned. If that’s true, your plans may be compromised by events you haven’t even thought of. Here are some highlights:
60% of retired U.S. workers said they had to stop working unexpectedly. In this case your retirement plans may not be of your choice
Many people who want and plan to retire at age 62, 65 or 70, can’t
Among the 1,002 recent retirees who were surveyed,
29% said the timing of their retirement was unexpected
31% said the timing was very unexpected.
33% of those respondents said they left their jobs involuntarily
16% had to retire because of health challenges
11% stepped away because they lost their jobs,
3% had to stop working to care for a spouse or dependent
3% retired involuntarily because of their age.
In these cases, reality didn’t allow them to follow their plans.
So, what are the implications for you? Here are some suggestions to think about:
Accelerate your career plan so you reach your ultimate goal 5 or more years earlier
Plan your finances for retirement in a way to save much more than your expectations
Consider a range of retirement plan alternatives: From minimal to optimal
Create your assumptions with some wiggle room:
Unexpected delays or issues out of your control
A boss that hinders your move up and/or a boss that accelerates your move ahead
Modify your career plan with each and every move
Plans are great, but life is unpredictable. As the saying goes, man plans and the gods laugh.
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