A reliable career-development plan should emulate military strategies, clearly addressing mission objectives, options, and competitive risks, and then drills all the information into an actionable plan.
Chad Storlie, a retired U.S. Army Special Forces officer and businessman has some strategic insights to the task of career planning:
“What makes career planning difficult is not the lack of options,” he writes, “but an incredible field of possible options based on companies to work for, attractive industries, emerging technologies, and socially responsible business models. Great work and great careers energize both the soul and the paycheck. However, people struggle with how to take all of these possible options and drill them down into a concrete, actionable plan that supports what they want to in their careers.
“The military has a detailed planning process that looks clearly at mission objectives, explores options, examines the competition, and then drills this all down into an actionable plan.”
He lists seven critical aspects in the military planning and mission executions process, and explained how they work well for ensuring your next career step is a success one.
1. Determine What Career Success Looks Like in Specific Detail
2. “War Game” the Possible Paths for Your Career
3. Look at your competitors’ strengths
4. Plans rarely go according to plan … Always have career back-up plans
5. Rehearse the critical tasks in your career advancement
6. Use the After Action Review process to record career lessons learned
7. Get and give more from career coaching sessions
“Great career planning looks at defined goals, fully anticipates the competition, anticipates setbacks, and then creates plans and back up plans to ensure those strategic career goals succeed,” according to Storlie. “These seven military planning skills are great tools to ensure your continued career success.”
Chad Storlie is the author of two books on translating and applying military skills to business practices: Combat Leader to Corporate Leader and Battlefield to Business Success. He is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces officer and an adjunct lecturer of Marketing at Creighton University in Omaha, NE.