Some people like to take new jobs as they come along without any real planning. Others have their sights set on exactly what they want to do and when they want to do it.
According to Mike Steib, the CEO of the XO Group who previously held two different director roles at Google, career planning is vital. He told Business Insider he architected a plan for his own career, and now spends many hours mentoring and helping other people do the same with theirs.
Steib said there are three things to consider when thinking through where you want your career to go:
1. Think about what impact you want to have.
Steib says first of all you should think about what’s important to you, and how you want to impact the world with your career.
“For me, I always knew that I loved putting together and leading teams of great people,” he said. “As I thought about my career, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I encourage folks as well to do that exercise.”
2. Think of what that your dream job could be.
Would you like to be a CEO, or a movie producer? Whatever your dream role is, you should get a sense of where you’d like to be in the future, Steib said.
Once you’ve done that, you can research people who are at that stage of their careers, and looks for the skills and experiences they’ve developed and demonstrated along the way to get to that point.
“If one concludes she really wants to be a Fortune 500 CFO, every Fortune 500 CFO’s bio is public, so take a look,” Steib said. “What you’ll see is that there are some themes in terms of what they’ve all done. I did this early in my career, for CEOs in businesses, and one of the themes was they’re really good at managing people, and at leading big teams.”
3. Make a plan based on your role models.
Once you’ve looked at how the people you admire got to where they are, you need to work out how you can do it, too.
If you want to manage thousands of people like a CEO does, and you haven’t been in charge of anyone before, then your next experience in work obviously isn’t going to be that. Steib said he found himself in this position, so he asked to get an intern.
“I started an intern program in my department, early in my career, so that someone would let me manage an intern, so finally I was managing someone,” he said. “I had infinite growth of my team. The next thing was I had a team of interns, and I was trusted to manage people because I had demonstrated an ability to manage people.”