How to Make a Mind Map and Plan Your Career

There are lots of ways to plan out your career, but visual thinkers and fans of diagrams will love mind mapping, which basically creates a picture of your thought processes.

On her blog Prolific Living, career coach Farnoosh Brock provides a thorough outline of how to create your mind map, but here's how to getting started. (Via Lifehacker, which featured Brock's approach in a recent post.)

1. Pick your software.

Brock uses Mindjet Manager, which offers a free trial, but there are plenty of totally free software packages out there, if you want to get a feel for the process.

2. Understand your goal.

The main purpose of the mind map in career planning is to figure out what career we're really shooting for. If that sounds too simplistic -- "Don't you know what you want to do?" -- keep in mind that many of us get stuck, for a variety of reasons, in jobs we don't really care about. While we linger in less-than-thrilling gigs, paying the bills and getting by, it's easy to forget what our dreams were.

3. Determine your foundational pillars.

These include questions as basic as "What's your current job?" and as potentially philosophically complex as "Why do you want (or feel you have) to do the work you're doing now?" Full list here.

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