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Section 1: Understanding Yourself



Section 1: Understanding Yourself

The 5-Year Forecast

Sometimes people have an employment strategy that is flawed from the beginning. 

For example, a person chooses a career path that sounds right for the immediate future, but quickly realizes that the advancement opportunities, salary, and benefits make it impossible to support a family. 

5 years is a realistic time frame to forecast one’s life. 

Note that the word forecast is used, as opposed to the word plan.  We all know weather forecasters are not 100 percent accurate, especially with the long-term forecast.  However, it is a good barometer for planning day trips, vacations, and sporting events.

Thus, it is important to realize that this is not a firm plan, but a forecast for your life over the next 5 years.  This is yet another layer on the foundation to develop an effective employment strategy.

Complete the grid below by writing your five year forecast.  For each category, forecast year 1 through 5.  Again, writing down your thoughts, plans, and reflections is very helpful to creating an effective employment strategy.

Please be thorough!  Try not to write “work, work, work” in each of the five years of the job category. 

Here are some thoughts to help you focus on each category:

Education:  Consider your current situation.  Then, is there certification, other interests or training?  Is there another area of study you would like pursue?

Family:  Think dating, marriage, children.  Or, think about supporting a family, care-taking, moving out of the house, coaching a little league team, family vacations.

Job:  Think getting a job in XYZ field.  Think advancement, lateral moves, managing, moving from private to union.  Think location, do you want to move?  Think about your priorities completed earlier.  Think about wages; how much do you need to make?

Personal/Financial:  What are your goals? Paying off the house, the car, the boat, the bow and arrow?  Being debt free?  Being credit card free?  Saving $X for the ring, the boat, the retirement?  Winning the hunting tournament, batting .600 in softball, remodeling your bathroom?  How do these things impact your potential job choice?

Blank Category:  Perhaps you have fitness goals, housing projects, or hobby interests you would like to include in this list.

Again, be thorough.  See the following page and fill out the grid.  Some major thought should be put into this, as this exercise is paramount to your strategy.


The 5-year forecast

Year

Education

Family

Job

Personal/
Financial

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

Finally

After you have completed this exercise, the final task is to process your thoughts.  In other words, explain yourself.

Write a 1 page paper explaining your 5-year plan.  Talk about why you wrote what you wrote and speculate about the difficulties that lie ahead.  Expressing your thoughts on paper will help solidify the purpose of this exercise.

Last Updated: October 7, 2014

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