Career: coincidence or plan?

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High school graduation, study, first job and work experience, salary increase, promotion, job change, leadership position ... In theory, it is easy to imagine a professional career . In practice, however, it shows: First, it comes differently and second, as you think. Even with concrete ideas, things do not always develop as planned - and over the years, priorities and career expectations change . Fresh in the first profession is difficult to predict where you want to stand 20 years later and which aspects are particularly important at this time. Does it make any sense at all to set up a career plan or should it be left to chance? Basically, the answer isYes , but it also needs the necessary flexibility ...
 Career: coincidence or plan?


Career: Can she even plan?
At the age of 40, I would like to lead a management department, manage a department, be a general manager, enjoy more professional freedom, make the next career move or even earn at least € 50,000 a year.

Every employee has his personal goals that he wants to achieve at some point in his career.

This is important to have something that motivates, helps over frustration and sets a direction. But is it really possible to plan your career ?


Basically first of all: Yes. A plan and an idea of ​​a career are not only possible, but also very useful . You take the helm, make deliberate and targeted decisions that will help you along the way and get where you want to go instead of just drifting.

On the other hand, the answer is also no , because such a thoughtful and detailed professional career is also planned, the reality usually has very different plans . It may sound frustrating, but coincidence and events that you simply can not influence play a role in every career - smaller for one, larger for the other.

Career plan career reality graphic
What matters in the end is how you deal with a plan of your career. Anyone who tries to cling to it and is unwilling to indulge or compromise will quickly reach its limits and will eventually have to admit in frustration that it is hardly possible.

There are no perfect picture-book careers . Setbacks and corrections in the direction are part of this - and ultimately make true success.

On the other hand, if you have a backbone of your career, but remain open to change and opportunities , you are on the right path to achieving what you set out to do and can make adjustments along the way necessary and accompany your personal changes .


What to do if the plan does not work?
It could be so easy, if everything would always run exactly as it had been prepared in advance. The rise on the career ladder would be only a matter of time and would set at the appointed timing , the desired position would only wait for their own cast and the salary would rise automatically in the beautiful rhythm of two years.

As far as the fictitious dream concept . In practice, however, it is usually only a matter of time before the career plan comes to an abrupt end. Maybe the company simply can not climb, you may lose your job unexpectedly because sites need to close or it may take much longer than expected to go uphill professionally - your plan can go wrong in a variety of ways, as your bottom line is react.

5 phases bad plan
They can curse God and the world, blaming the circumstances or anyone else - or deal with the situation in a meaningful way . For example:

Stay flexible.
No career is set in stone, so you should say goodbye to this idea. No matter how much you want it and how perfect your planning seems, coincidence simply can not be considered in advance . It does not have to be that bad if you approach it with the right attitude.

Do not cling to the idea of ​​your career. Changes - even unplanned ones - are included . Keep the necessary flexibility and consider your plan as a rough guideline, rather than somehow pushing the reality into the specifications of your concept.

Do not start to doubt.
What did I do wrong? If something is different than expected, many people immediately react with doubts about the course so far. After all , you must have made some mistake , otherwise everything would have gone according to plan ... Wrong! Sometimes things just turn out to be different than you expected, without your own intervention.

Anyone who doubts himself or his previous decisions will only create problems where none were up to now. Self-reflection is important, but you should not immediately question your entire career .

Set your eyes to the front.
The key question is: what has changed and how can you make the most of the new situation ? You can not change the way your career has developed so far, but you still have it in your hands to see what happens next.

It may seem like a detour, but it may also open up new opportunities that you have not seen before. Take the changes instead of focusing only on the seemingly negative.

Age-appropriate career strategies
The career path you imagine in your early 20s does not always have much in common with what you look back on decades later. One of the reasons is that one's own views, expectations and priorities change over time. It makes sense to consider career design not as a one-time decision, but as an on- going process that adapts to the age - from students and graduates, to young workers, to experienced professionals in the midst of professional life ..

Age-appropriate is not just related to the older age, but merely means to adapt the individual strategies to the respective age and above all the current phase of the professional career . Below we have compiled the most important career tips and principles for all ages.

The age information is only to be understood as orientation, which makes it easier for you to determine the right tips for you . Depending on your individual career - very sooner or later you may be entering the profession , delays or similar - the phases may of course shift.

20 to 29 years: Design your career start
Are you graduating on the home stretch, are you just graduating or are you preparing for your first job? Then it is a good idea to approach your professional career open and inquisitive . Ambition can be an excellent proposition, but it should not tempt you to ignore the knowledge of your experienced colleagues or want it all at once. Some things just need time to develop.

Although you can find the basic direction of your career in this phase, the entry into an industry can determine the next few years or even decades, but that's not the end of it. This fact gives you the freedom to try out a lot in your 20s and also take some risky opportunities. You are young, use this to your advantage.

30 to 39 years: Find your priorities
In this phase, the direction of your professional career is crystallizing. Maybe you are already on the way to the first promotion and your career is noticeably on the rise. However, before you jump into your career full of energy, now is the time to clarify your priorities .

Family, children or at least concentration on professional success? At this age important decisions are important . Therefore, now is the time to clarify the meaning of what areas of life have and should have in the future. It also determines how much you can and want to invest in your career.

In addition, these years can also be a time to question the professional position . Are you happy with what you are doing or do you want to move in another direction? The job cycle also shows that it may be time for a change.

40 to 49 years: Establish your profile
At the latest in this phase, you should consciously set about building and expanding your profile and your reputation . You have already done a lot, probably contributing to successful projects and having a lot of work to do - other people should know that too, especially if it could help your future career.

Whether you're launching a blog , seeing trade fairs more often, making targeted contacts with well-known colleagues, or using a combination of all these things, personal branding is the thing to do . The next step in your career will be difficult without a clear profile, so make a name for it and make sure it stands for quality.

50 to 59 years: evolve
You have a lot of professional success, no one in your field makes such a move, and you are a big name at your employer. You can and should be proud of that, but it would be wrong to just rest on it. Do not stop developing and staying on the ball, build your profile and stay flexible with new things. For a while, you can feed on old achievements, but you move visibly into the background.

You can also share your experience and expertise with others and provide advice. This applies at the workplace as well as in the context of organized further education or as a lecturer.

At this stage, you should also think about what the next and last years of your career should look like. If you want to be shorter at some point, such a step usually has to be planned early.

60 years and older: Use your new freedom
In this phase, you will leave active working life and at least noticeably reduce your working hours. However, that does not mean that you can not use your existing energy. More and more experienced employees start their own businesses, support start-ups in setting up or become active as mentors and counselors.

Whatever you do, do not let the term pensioner or retiree slow you down and use the time you have freed up . Now you have the opportunity to take care of long-delayed projects and to go new ways.

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