Create an Action Plan

Planning your steps is key to getting where you want to go
Once you have decided on a course of action, it is time to act. Your action should have a method, though; just like walking in circles, a lot of energy can be spent without getting you any closer to where you want to be if you don't follow a plan.
The key is to make a plan, and stick to it. Map the course you need to take from where you are now to finding a job, or starting your college study, or to wherever you need to go. Use milestones along the way to measure how you are doing. Sometimes you'll need to be flexible and change course. That's ok, as long as each action keeps you moving toward your goal.
Mavis' plan of action.
A naturally reflective person, Mavis used to spend much time thinking about her children and grandchildren, but since joining VISTA, she has begun to think about her own long-term plans. The enthusiasm of her VISTA teammates who are trying to pick college majors and future career options is rubbing off on her. After writing down a list of ideas she'd like to pursue, she concluded that what she'd like to do most is use her education award to take nonprofit management courses at the local community college and then find a job helping an organization she believes in do its fundraising.
Action plan tips:
  • Identify your personal goal(s) whether for the short or long-term.
  • Outline the specific steps and strategies that will serve to make your goal become reality.
  • Determine the resources it will take to accomplish your goal, and create a timeline for accomplishing specific tasks.
  • Set benchmarks, so you'll know you're making progress.
  • Note the outcome factors that will help you determine when your goal has been reached.
The action plan is not just in you head: Commit it to writing. Put it somewhere you can see it frequently (on your desktop, fridge, bathroom mirror, etc.)

Career action plan

Here is an example of a career action plan. You can use this style of plan for other purposes and time frames, such as finding a job, applying and getting accepted to college, starting your own business, etc.


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