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Every year millions of college students’ worldwide graduate from college in hopes of obtaining a position in their career field of choice; however a lot of these students do not have a plan of action to actually help them find their career and achieve their goals. So much emphasis is put on college graduates going out and finding a “job”, but little focus is put on helping them find a “career.” “A five year career plan is a road map that allows for progress tracking, and development of solutions or alternate courses of action (Crump, 2009).” From personal experience I have realized that the chances of achieving my personal and career goals are increased of I actually write them out as a plan. In this paper I will discuss my career goals and objectives, my current knowledge and skills that I currently possess in my future career, the steps that I will take in order to meet my career goals, and any possible barriers that may present themselves in the path to me completing these goals.
Currently I am a front desk clerk and personal trainer at Fitness Systems, a privately owned fitness center in South Sacramento. Since it is a small business and only consists of five employees, chances of promoting within the business are small. However I have used my experience from working the front counter and interacting with members of the gym, to help promote my presence of being a trainer. Also, working at Fitness Systems has allowed me to observe the procedures and responsibilities that it takes to run a successful business. Statistics show that most small businesses will fail in between 1-3 years from the initial startup time; therefore I am trying to absorb as much information as possible so that I don’t fall into the same category.
In order to manage a successful career it is important to develop an exceptional method of thinking strategically and exceptional execution skills. Building upon my skills in these areas will help me to achieve my long term goals. In all organizations, it is important that management sets goals for employees in accordance with the goals of the organization. When I open my fitness center, one of the main things that I want to stress among my employees (trainers), is strong communication skills. If management and staff aren’t on the same page, there will be an abundance of errors within the organization. If certain skills are lacking within employees, it is the responsibility of management to identify these weaknesses and find a resolution such as training, to solve the issues.
As a way to help kick start my five year career development plan, I have put together a list of some of my short term and long term career goals. My short term goals include improving upon my current skills as a personal trainer and gain experience in specific areas such as nutrition, so that I will be prepared to take on the role of being the owner of my own Personal Training Company. My personal short term goals include the following: increasing my knowledge in anatomy, improve upon my ability to map out an effective workout plan for clients, improve upon my communication skills, obtain my business degree in management, network with other local personal trainers, and gain more hands on personal training experience by recruiting more clients.
My personal long term career goal is open a private fitness center that enables clients and their trainers to schedule one on one sessions in the center without having to worry about the crowds that usually plague commercial fitness centers. This goal will be achieved by the summer of 2012. My plan is to continue being a part time trainer for now, graduate with my BS in Business Management, enter and complete the MBA marketing program at the University of Phoenix, and then work on opening up my fitness center.
Owning a successful business requires that you build strong relationships with your clients/customers, their families, and the surrounding communities. Maintaining a positive stance and reputation in the community that you serve, determines if you’re company will be successful. In order to promote myself within the community, I have created business cards that describe the service that I provide and my contact information. I have also spoken to the founder and CEO (Plashette Robinson), of a local journal called the Sacramento Cultural Hub. Sacramento Cultural Hub is a Sacramento based journal that spotlights small businesses owned by minorities in Northern California.
Ms. Robinson has agreed to post a small feature about me in her journal. This feature will include a photo of me, current attributions to the community, my educational background, my career field of choice, and my opinion on different health/fitness related issues that are plaguing our society and communities. I feel that Sacramento Cultural Hub, along with my personal efforts, will help give me the exposure that I need to earn a good reputation within the community.
As I mentioned earlier in this writing, actually mapping out a plan will help increase the chances of all objectives and goals being met. Below is a chart that displays my Five-Year Career Development plan on a year-to-year basis.
Intermediate Steps Over the Next Five Years to Reach My GoalFor MeFor my supervisor/others who will support meYear OneFocus on school and earn my degree in Business Management by March 2010.Feedback from my peers and professors.
Year TwoComplete the MBA Marketing program at UOP. Attend courses for first time business owners and begin looking for high traffic locations for my Fitness Center. Network with various promotional outlets.Feedback from my peers and professors.
Seek advice from the owner of Fitness Systems in regards to opening a small business.
Year ThreeActively recruit certified Personal Trainers in the Sacramento area. Open the Fitness Center in the summer of 2012. Network with other small business owners. Setup commercials spots with Sacramento area radio stations.Network with friends and family in order to assist me with finding local certified Personal Trainers.
Year FourContinue to actively recruit Personal Trainers. Continue promotion via radio and other outlets.
N/AYear FiveConsider possible methods of expanding services beyond Sacramento.
N/A*Five-Year Career Plan Chart template retrieved from: mpiweb.orgRegardless of how well thought out a plan may be, there is always some kind of temporary barrier that may be encountered. In relation to my career plan, two potential barriers that I predict may take place are time management issues between my professional and personal life and a further downturn in our nation’s economy. Both of these issues can definitely cause a change in the objectives and goals for my business. However, the matter of time management can easily be tweaked if any issues shall arise and any issues in relation to the economy will have to be solved on a day to day basis. Both of the barriers mentioned above are vital, but they are issues that all small business owners’s struggle and deal with.
In conclusion, I have shared my five-year career development plan. This plan will help assist me in achieving my career goals and at the same time help me in meeting some of my personal goals as well. Creating a development plan will assist in maximizing the potentials of an individual in the workplace. A career development plan not only helps to keep me motivated and focused; it also helps in providing the confident feeling that will in turn help me take charge of my career.
Crump, Jocelyn. (2009). Five-Year Career Plan. Retrieved July 30, 2009 from: http://www.stc.org/confproceed/1994/PDFs/PG163164.PDFFive-Year Career Plan Template. (2009) Retrieved August 1, 2009 from:http://www.mpiweb.org/CMS/uploadedFiles/Career_Development/Five-Year%20Plan.doc