Navigating Possibilities: How an Odyssey Plan Can Create A Career Compass

At different points across your career it’s normal if you find yourself at crossroads, uncertain of what steps to take next or what pathway is best when seeking change in your career.  You might feel that you have exhausted your growth in your current role and start asking yourself questions like, “What do I do next”, “How do I transition to something new”, or “What path will be best for my future.”

There are so many good options to consider and sometimes because of this you might feel overwhelmed by choice or unsure of how to move forward.  Making an informed decision is essential  to success, so rather than jumping from role to role with no real thought or plan forward, you need to assess what factors are important to you to consider. Sometimes, the more conventional approach to career planning can leave people feeling confined to what they ‘should do’ or lacking in clarity of what they ‘want to do.’

But what if there was a tool that could help us break free from limitations and unlock a world of possibilities?  One tool that we love using with our clients is called The Odyssey Plan, a transformative framework developed by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans from Stanford University that encourages you to envision your your career and all the possible pathways you could take in a new light.

So what is the Odyssey Plan?

Simply put, it’s a planning and prototyping activity that allows you to consider new career options and how each option might change your life over the next five year period. It will encourage you to embark on a journey of exploration, reflection, and self-discovery. It will enable you to evaluate multiple potential futures (at least three) and consider how the career choice might shape your life over the short term, helping you to chart a course towards your future.  It’s an innovative approach that empowers you to think beyond a linear pathway and embrace the excitement of what could be.

How it works? 

Imagine a customer service professional named Susie who feels stuck in her current role, wishing for a change, new challenges, and opportunities. She decides to dive into the Odyssey Plan to uncover alternative options.  Susie is able to envision three different possibilities: 1. staying in her current organisation and changing roles or moving up into management, 2. moving to a more senior position with an alternate and global company as she would like exposure to a larger organisation, or 3. retraining and setting her sights on a completely alternate path, as she has always had a passion for working in community services through volunteer work and would like to make this a career.

Through the Odyssey Plan, Susie delves into each possible pathway looking up to five years in the future, year by year. She considers where each individual path may lead, both personally and professionally. From here, she undertakes research into new role and training options, explores her network, and gains valuable insights into the skills and experiences required for success across each of her identified options. She prototypes all three scenarios, acknowledging the challenges, opportunities, and potential outcomes associated with each.  The process ignites her imagination and brings her a new level of confidence that allows her to make an informed decision about her future career direction.

Why do we use it?

The Odyssey Plan is a powerful tool that can help you navigate your career journey with purpose and clarity. Whether you’re a recent graduate exploring your options or a seasoned professional seeking a change, this framework can inspire and guide you towards a fulfilling and meaningful career. Completing an Odyssey Plan may seem daunting at first, but remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Don’t settle for a career that leaves you uninspired and unfulfilled.  Embrace the Odyssey Plan and embark on a transformative journey towards professional satisfaction.

You can unlock the doors to a career that not only aligns with your values and future goals. Your next career move awaits – are you ready to try the Odyssey Plan?

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