Karen “P” Thompson is a Perth based Senior Agent with Aquent, the
leading global staffing firm specialising in marketing, communications
and creative talent. A born networker, Karen loves meeting new people.
She also loves the helicopter view of the marketing industry that her
role affords her. Karen is an Associate Fellow of the Australian
Marketing Institute and a Certified Practising Marketer (CPM).


John Lennon once said, life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. Do you feel like your life and career are passing you by? Then maybe its time for you to focus your career planning.

Of
all the professions, marketers are the best qualified to prepare a
career plan. Why? Because writing a career plan is just writing a
marketing plan with YOU as the product.

Think back to Marketing
101 at uni (go on, I dare you…). You learned that the planning process
is about:

  1. determining objectives
  2. devising strategies
  3. implementing strategies
  4. measuring the results, and
  5. adjusting things as required.

So why should your career plan be any different?

1. Determining objectives

You need to assess where you are
now and think about where you want to be in five or 10 years. Develop a
strategic vision for your career. Your desired destination will
determine the steps you take along the way to realising that vision.

Do your SWOT
analysis. Think about your personal strengths and weaknesses. What are
the opportunities and potential threats that could hamper your efforts?

2. Devising strategies

Once
you’ve established your major objective, move onto the action plans –
the how, what, why, when, where and who. Can your current employer help
you achieve your goals? Or will you need to look elsewhere?

3. Implementing strategies

You
may think about relocating. I strongly advise young marketers to seek
out international experience if possible. Exposure to other markets and
different thinking will help when you are competing for future
positions. Maybe you’ll be heading back into the classroom for further
qualifications.

4. Measuring brand YOU

We all know the importance that brand plays in
marketing. What is your personal brand saying about you? As you move
through your career protect your brand at all costs. Integrity is the
most valuable attribute your brand can have so never compromise it.

5. Review and adjust as required

A
goal without a timeframe is just a dream, so set timelines in your plan.
When the time is right, seek out your next opportunity, implement your
marketing campaign and move on.

Remember, a good marketing plan
needs to remain fluid in order to change with market conditions. Many
great marketing plans have been written and then left to gather dust –
don’t let this happen to your career plan.

Happy planning and enjoy the
journey!