Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? In ten years? In twenty years?
It is a daunting question for everyone and one that applicants who approach the job market find impossible to answer. Yet, creating a plan for the future is not something you say only to impress a potential employer.
Your plan for the future is designed to shape your career and life progression. Here’s a thing about plans: they are bound to change as you discover new things and life takes you in new directions. It makes no doubt that the plan you create as you are about to leave university will evolve as your priorities change and the world also adapt to transformations around you.
Sometimes, we get things wrong too. The priorities we set for ourselves can lose their appeal over time. So, with this in mind, how can we help the next generation prepare a realistic, achievable, and useful plan for their future?
Consider a change of horizon
There is nothing more refreshing and eye-opening than changing your surroundings. Ideally, being able to move abroad and live in a foreign country for a short time can help redefine your priorities and see things from a different perspective.
However, while it can be a difficult and costly thing to organise. Instead, students can find a time- and cost-effective approach such as study trips. Indeed, planning a trip with a group of students abroad is one of the best solutions to expose them to different thinking, cultures, and values, which can help shape their plans for the future.
Find knowledgeable mentors
The role of a mentor is to nurture key skills that will help the individuals in reaching their goals. A mentor is an experienced professional who has developed and built a career in a sector that can meet the interests of students and young adults.
Mentors are typically present at different stages of business launch and growth. But they can also partner with young adults who are still deciding on their future careers.
For example, mentors can arrange for school visits to answer questions about their careers or invite a handful of young people to shadow them at work for a short period of time. It can be a fantastic opportunity to discover the reality of a career and know what to expect.
Share your shortcomings
Everybody loves a good story. So, as a professional, there is a lot to gain in sharing your story.
People can make mistakes along their paths, choosing the wrong career at first or failing to build a supportive network. Platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter tend to promote success and skimp over the mistakes.
But honesty can also be a fantastic tool to build the next generation’s confidence. Professionals who are open to sharing the mishaps and mistakes they’ve made can help make professional and personal growth more accessible and realistic.
So, there’s nothing wrong with sharing a candid video of yourself on YouTube or TikTok explaining some of the challenges you’ve failed to tackle and what you’ve learned from the experience.
Plans are made to change, evolve and grow with us. However, too many professionals take on social media to share their success stories without ever mentioning the hesitations and mistakes that went into creating their plans for the future.
So, if we are to support the next generation in building a concrete and realistic plan for the future, we must include mistakes, opportunities to discover new things with trips abroad, and time for self-questioning with a mentor.