Using your CV to help plot your future

It's important to know where you want to be: in his book Goals! How to get everything you want - faster than you ever thought possible (details at the end of this activity sheet), author Brian Tracy says:

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Careers are built on building blocks:

A CV reflects your life history, and as such, it can be a useful tool to use in terms of assessing how far you're pleased with the way your life and career are going. This is partly because your traditional CV encompasses:

  • The achievements you've enjoyed to date - a chance to blow your own trumpet
  • The knowledge and skills you have
  • Qualifications and training you've undertaken to date
  • Any personal development you've done (how far you've developed since school)
  • Any positions of responsibility and leadership, giving an indication to others of how far you relish those things
  • Your hobbies and interests, which you choose to do

So as you look forward to your future, a useful exercise is to ask yourself:

  1. How would you like your CV to look in say, 2-3 years time?
  2. How will your CV need to look in say, 6 months time, if you are to achieve the future you want.

You can then make sure you steer your career - and life - in the right direction by making sure you've got the right resources and opportunities to take you there.

In short, you can make sure you add the next building block on your CV in all areas of your life by:

  • Benchmarking a description of your current role (which you'll need to write afresh or put together by updating your old job description) against what you want to see on your CV in a year's time, or say 3 years time
  • Using the annual review process to see what the company can do to move your career in the direction you want;
  • Selecting training courses to join and qualifications relevant to your future career plans
  • Using voluntary work to build up skills and experience you want that you can't get at work.

You can also take a longer term view

Take a long term view and actively plan where you want to be. ‘This is where I want to be in five years’, so that you can start moving towards it. Use your CV to measure whether your career is moving suitably quickly in the direction you want in areas such as:

  • Achievements
  • Impact made
  • Career brief
  • Skills and knowledge acquired
  • Personal accomplishments
  • Hobbies and interests

The responsibility to make your career and life everything you want it to be lies with you. Plotting your path will help you plan each stage.

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