As a workshop facilitator and course designer, sticky notes and flip chart paper are two of my favourite tools!
One of my LinkedIn Challengers said to me recently “I loved your LinkedIn Challenge Sherry but how on earth do you manage to put all your knowledge and experience into just 10 days? I wouldn’t have known where to start.”
The simple truth is, I don’t.
Instead I start with a pen and a pack of sticky notes (and a sheet of flip chart paper on the wall).
All my online courses, ebooks and challenges start in the same way. It’s a tried and trusted method that I recommend to my one-to-one and VIP clients when they are starting to map out their career strategy too.
Stage 1 – Get clear on your goal
Before you can map out your success (for me, my LinkedIn Challenge), first get absolutely clear on what you want to achieve. Maybe you are familiar with SMART goals, described so well in this article by Mike Gardner.
As a coach, I will also encourage you to identify a goal that is personal to you i.e. you are doing it because you want to not because somebody else wants you to. It is important that you have control over the outcome. Then additionally, that the goal is future-focused, positive and that you will know when you achieved it.
When you have the goal, write this across the top of your flip chart paper. (I prefer to attach to a sheet of flip chart paper on the wall otherwise the sticky notes have a tendency to mysteriously slip down the back of the filing cabinet when you’re not looking).
Stage 2 – Start with the 5Ws
Next, start with the 5 W questions which form the questions for problem-solving i.e.
- Who is involved?
- What needs to happen?
Typically I’ll add in the How? too though some would argue that What, When and Where covers the How.
Write each one of these questions on a sticky note and put on your flip chart paper.
You might prefer to put these up in a line across the top of the paper or more randomly spread over the page.
I use these as prompts when I get stuck in Stage 3.
Stage 3 – Brainstorm your ideas and thoughts
Next brainstorm all your ideas and thoughts as well as resources you could use, quotes, stepping stones, information … everything that you can think of. Write each idea or thought on a separate sticky note and stick on your paper.
When you run out of ideas, look at the 5W prompts.
When you run out of ideas again, ask yourself “What else?”
Ideas and thoughts might continue to pop as you move on to Stage 4.
Stage 4 – Organise your ideas and thoughts
I suggest you leave this stage for a couple of days. Let the ideas and thoughts brew a little longer.
When you are ready, come back to your sheet of paper, by now covered in sticky notes.
With a fresh pair of eyes, you can start to organise and prioritise the ideas.
What is most important to focus on first? Do some actions have prerequisites? Does it make sense to group some of the ideas together? Are some ideas unnecessary?
Move the sticky notes around on the flip chart paper until you are happy with the organisation of your thoughts and you are ready to move to Stage 5.
Stage 5 – Create your success plan
Now that you have organised and prioritised your thoughts, it is time to create your success plan.
Put your sticky notes in timeline order so that you can write, type or draw your plan.
How to sticky note your way to career success
That’s how to sticky note your way to career success. Get clear on your goal. Think about the 5Ws. Brainstorm your ideas and thoughts. Organise and priorities those ideas and thoughts to create your career success plan.
Try this method and see how it’s not that tricky to plan your career success.
Come and share what’s worked for you in planning your career success in the comments.
p.s. If you’re stuck on planning your career success, let’s talk. Sometimes a simple conversation is all you need and it’s so much easier to plan out somebody else’s career success than it is to plan your own. Book a complimentary career success plan call here.