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Create A Marketing Plan To Reach Your Personal Goals

Tracie Hitz's picture

We use the start of the year to assess where we've been to figure out where we want to go in the coming year. This is the time when the gyms are packed with people who resolved to lose weight or run a marathon, but after a few weeks the gym traffic gets back to normal because good intentions don't always have a good plan.

Think about this when setting your professional goals so you don't burn out before getting there.  How will you get where you want to be by the end of the year?  Is it actually possible?  Figure this out by setting your strategies for getting there. Just like creating a marketing plan for work, attack your professional development the same way. You will be more successful if you write down the process, not just the destination.  

Below is the first plan I put together using this method, which was when I was looking to make the leap to overseeing a marketing department.  I started at Northwestern when I was 21 years old and had been promoted twice, but I knew I needed to shatter any perceptions that I was still that inexperienced girl if I wanted to make the leap to Assistant Athletic Director. I was hoping to stay at NU, but I also had to plan for making the move to another organization.

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The most important part of this plan was that I kept adding new things to the list so I could continue getting the experience I needed based on information I was gathering during the process. It was necessary to be ready to accept the honest feedback my mentors were providing to me so I could get better. This helped me assess my plan frequently to make sure I was still headed in the right direction. The plan I started with at the beginning of the year was not the same as the one I ended with later that summer when I was promoted to Assistant Athletic Director a month after my 29th birthday.

Just like with your new year's resolutions, you not only need a plan, but you need people there supporting and motivating you. We can't do it alone. Without my mentors telling me like it was, I would've fail just like the people who stop going to the gym every February. Who do you have in your corner? The book I recommend for getting a list together of your circle of trust is the "Power of Who" by Bob Beaudine. He convinced me that I already knew everyone I need to know to be successful even when I was just a young pro.

That's not to say that I wasn't still out there building relationships, but it's a great way to realize who you have on your side. For finding more people in the business, I recommend reading "Networking As A Contact Sport" by Joe Sweeney. Creating your own variation of his 5-10-15 Method will give you a plan that you can stick to and the people you need to help you do it. What goals did you set for 2013? Did you write them down? Have you reached out for help? It's too hard to do it alone.

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