Be the one who sees the forest through the trees

6 Career Planning Strategies to Propel Growth

Career planning can seem like a daunting process, but it can be a worthy investment of time that accelerates your career trajectory. Active career planning includes the development of activities and action steps to achieve individual career goals. Basic steps in career planning include: exploring your interests, assessing your talents, strategic planning, and development of an action plan to achieve your career goals.

New career opportunities bring increased pressure, but also anticipation and excitement. Do you know where you want to be in your healthcare career 10 years from now? Have you charted a course for your career journey?

In the healthcare field, your talents are in high demand, especially as the population ages and Baby Boomers retire.

Plan Your Careers Around Growth

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” —Pablo Picasso


6 Strategies to Aid in Your Career Planning and Growth


Strategy 1: Set Short-Term, High-Impact Objectives.


The cliché “work smarter not harder” still rings true. Be strategic in how and where you spend your time. Identify areas you can improve significantly within 90-120 days. Tactics utilized to attain measurable objectives could relate to process improvement, establishing a new supply initiative, or developing new criteria for ensuring optimum clinical judgment in daily rounds.

It’s important that you:

  • Set goals early on
  • Identify strategies to accomplish your goals
  • Hold yourself accountable by establishing objectives

This can be accomplished by employing S.O.A.R. analysis

Strengths – What can you build on; proudest achievements?

Opportunities – What are your stakeholders asking for?

Aspirations – What do you care deeply about?

Results – How do you know you are succeeding?

Review what you have consummated in the past month, year, etc. and make a written career plan for your future in executive healthcare. A written career plan holds you accountable and increases the probability of staying on track while motivating you to keep moving forward.

Strategy 2:  Be Proactive & Articulate Your Value.


Continuously look for opportunities to:

  • Maximize efficiency within your department by transforming workflows
  • Solve common problems in day-to-day operations and exceed quality measures
  • Position yourself as a thought leader through hard work, dedication, and creativity

Understand why your position exists and the organizational pain points your position eliminates. Uncover inefficiencies and generate a plan to address them. Do you have a suggestion to boost productivity and save money? Develop the initiative and prove yourself to your superiors.

From promotions to new job opportunities, always be ready to effectively communicate your strengths and expertise. Know your worth and how to communicate your successes.

Strategy 3: Invest Time into Networking.


The art of networking has numerous benefits — all of which can work towards improving and strengthening your personal brand. Whether it’s a breakfast round table or an evening mixer, make the time to connect with your industry peers. You could learn something new and reap rewards.

Read valuable steps to networking success in our recent blog post “How to Build a Professional Network.

Strategy 4: Seek Jobs That Promote Growth.


According to Deloitte’s 2018 Global Human Capital Trends, 60% of employees believe their organizations do not effectively empower people to manage their own careers. If your current position is a dead end, don’t feel guilty for seeking new employment. Career stagnancy doesn’t allow you to develop and hone new skills and eventually breeds unhappiness.


Strategy 5: Disrupt Thinking.


If you truly aspire to stand out and advance your career, you have to offer something unique — beyond disseminating existing information and achieving minimum quality standards. Be both creative and persistent. Implementing new ideas can be laborious and the best and most creative solutions aren’t always accepted at first. As an experienced healthcare leader, stand by your best ideas and stay on track — even if your ideas challenge existing workflow methods. Keeping compassionate patient care at the heart of what you do will lead you in the right direction.

Strategy 6: Engage a Mentor or Professional Coach.


Where do you see yourself at the pinnacle of your healthcare career? A mentor or professional coach can help you map out the anticipated steps from your current job to your pinnacle job. A well-matched leadership coach can also offer valuable insight into the formal and informal networks you should tap into to advance your career. Leadership coaches are specialized in exploration of skill set proficiencies and can talk through your talents and passions to align them with your career goals.

Helpful Tools for Career Planning and Development


  • Leadership coachingEnlist help from a professional coach who possesses the necessary expertise and knowledge to assist you in career planning and progression.  
  • Self-assessments – What skills would make you more marketable and could advance you further up the ladder? Career self-assessments help to identify and explore your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Talent scans – Complete a talent scan to help you comprehend the challenges and opportunities facing healthcare and changes you can anticipate in the future.
  • Webinars and organizational workshops Register for continuing education opportunities. AONE offers online interactive education programs aimed at assisting nurse leaders in their professional development.
  • Professional organizations – Join a medical association to enhance your career and keep you informed of the latest news, research, and insights in your field.

Why Is It Important to Plan Career Progression?


Career progression is vital to cultivating your talents, moving up into leadership ranks and advancing the mission of your organization. It’s important to note that long-term career advancement may require you to make some arduous decisions or think unconventionally. Consider diving into new roles and positions if you feel called to do so. Work vigorously to develop your skills and lean into your talents — a host of opportunities could fall at your feet by casting a wider net.

Don’t Wait, Develop Your Career Plan Now


Invest time into substantial career planning and growth, now, to attain that coveted executive level position in the healthcare field you most desire. Building a prosperous career requires continuous development and revision to ascend the healthcare ladder. Infuse your career with action, don’t wait for ‘the right time to plan’ — the position you want could be offered to someone else.

Kirby Bates Associates believes that healthcare teams become exceptional when they have exceptional leaders. We founded our Leadership Coaching practice because we also believe organizations often overlook the development of internal talent — an important and cost-effective approach to executive team building.  We also assist individuals with developing career plans.

For more information or additional questions, contact the Kirby Bates Associates team today!