Build a career planning toolbox to achieve career success.

We all have our favorite coaches, and if they coach our favorite athletic team, it’s a plus. Tom Landry tried to measure the character of his players. Vince Lombardi expected and achieved excellence. Dean Smith brought out the best in his players while playing within the rules. John Wooden spent extra time in designing the best practices possible. Superior coaching is about being our best and beyond.

A significant number of Coach Lombardi’s players, for example, achieved financial and personal success outside football. Coaching is about performance whether its career planning or on the athletic field. Effective career planning with an experienced job coach will help us get on the right career path to plan, manage and advance our career.

As a career planning guide the best coach to bring out your peak performance is the person you see in the mirror every morning. If you can’t pay for a personal career coach, or maybe there’s no one available or you aren’t ready, why not be your own career planning coach? Here’s a successful and winning game plan to follow:

1. Write out your Personal Career Planning Guide: Write out your career goals. Your career development plan should be specific and measurable. There is power in writing and planning your career goals. Put a copy up on your screen saver. Write out your career plan on 3×5 cards and place them where you can read them daily. Think about your career objectives and frequently bring them up to date. Celebrate whenever you reach a milestone. This step is the most important in your career planning toolbox.

2. Focus on your Career Development: Eliminate distractions and keep your eye on your career goals. Life normally is full of frustrations and distractions. Successful coaches do not tolerate the things that drive most of us crazy – they take the time to stop, solve the problem and eliminate the distraction once and for all. Stay focused on your career plan.

3. Control your Surroundings: Top performers know that space management is as important as time management. They generally have neat offices, clean cars, orderly appointment books, and they plan for the unexpected, just in case. Make your space is as productive as possible and you can put your very best work.

4. Superior Performance Today: Don’t dwell on the past. It can’t be changed. Work your career planning strategy by doing your best today. Show up, be attentive, bear down and do your best. Your outstanding performance today will coach you to reach and exceed your future career plans. Many of life’s most important achievements are about doing a superior job right now, on the work that lies right in front of you. Dwelling on the big game next month will only cause you to lose focus on you career plans; the job in front of you is to get the most out of today’s work (practice) so when the big game arrives you’ll be more that ready to excel.

5. Build daily reading into your Career Plan: As part of your career plan, set aside some time to read something useful, motivating or fun every day. If you enjoy reading science fiction, for example, make a deal with yourself for every science fiction novel you read you’ll read two motivation or career related books. Plan on reading at least two books a month, build it into your career planning. Manage your other reading. Everything that comes across your desk or in your email does not have to be read. Use the delete button or the round file. You’ll now have more time to read something that advances your career plan. Reading will make a world of difference in coaching you to reach your career goals outlined in your career plan.

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