Fast Forward Your Career 1
Your Career Planning Tool Kit
Ever wondered why some people get promoted faster than others?
Would you like to know their secrets?
Career success starts with a career plan!
(90% of employees never make one)
Use this Tool Kit to create your unique career plan
to build your brand, get on the “highly promotable” list,
and be selected for the job you want next.
Fast Forward Your Career
by Richard E. Hinkie
Use the planning tools and the companion book to make a greater impact within
Fast Forward Your Career 2
This Career Planning Toolkit is based upon Fast Forward Your Career by Richard E. Hinkie. The
career success principles in the book were developed from interviews with over 60 senior
executives from companies like Apple, T-Mobile, Duke Energy, and other great organizations in
retail, manufacturing, energy, contracting and customer service.
The Career Planning Toolkit is designed just for you to provide the extra boost you need to
actually use the 7 career success principles to make your career more satisfying. Your career
will span many decades; why not take charge of your career starting now? Be part of the elite
10% that have created their own career plan.
Career Plan Step 1: Choose Your Target Job
Even if you think you know for sure what job or position you want next. Take a minute or two
and work through the following exercise. Many executives believe that employees limit
themselves when they think about their future by considering only jobs or positions within the
department or division for which they currently work. There may be other opportunities for
you. So let this planning tool help you think through all your options before you decide on your
target job.
1. What is the next traditional or specialist career progression that is likely ahead for you?
(This is the usual career path most people think of. If you are a staff accountant today,
for example, your next position might be accounting supervisor. In this career track,
your career path is focused on jobs within the current department or function you are
presently in.)
Based on the way your department, company, or industry is organized today, what career
positions (current job titles) are there ahead for you (look at the folks doing those higher
level jobs today in order to help you think this through)? These are the typical future jobs
that you could be promoted into in the next five years, 10 years, or even 20 years.
There are plusses and minuses to growing your career within a “traditional or specialist”
career path. On the plus side is stability. You will likely continue to work with people you
know and who know you and the work you do. The down side is, typically, that someone
has to leave the company or retire in a position above you before you can move up. You can
become blocked. And at some point in your career, especially if you reach the top of your
department, your next promotion might be outside of your department. That promotion
will require you to have a broader knowledge of your company and industry.
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by Richard E. Hinkie
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Remember, at each higher level in the organization, you will need a broader knowledge of
the business. Chapter 8: Understand the Big Picture: Learn the Business to Maximize Your
Value begins on page 101 and covers Career Success Principle Number 4.
List the most likely job or position titles you might be promoted in to if you stay in your
current specialty, department or division.
________________________, _______________________, _________________________.
2. What are your other advancement options? Consider the nontraditional or generalist
career progressions that might be good for your career.
Many executives said they moved out of their original career areas, sometimes even
laterally, and, as a result, added more experience in other skill areas or departments. Over
time, a combination of their willingness to take on new challenges and the added
experience earned them significant promotions. The more potential career paths available
to you, the better. Moving around the organization will also help more senior management
leaders learn to know you and your work. If you use Career Success Principle Number 1:
Get Connected & Get Noticed, chapter 4, page 35, organizational leaders will become more
aware of who you are.
So think about all the possible paths forward for your career, not just the ones that may
seem the most obvious.
List some of the nontraditional titles/positions that might be open for you, or that you are
interested in? (Think of positions in other departments that might lateral or a level or two
above you.)
OK. Decision Time. What job or position are you going to go
after in this plan? ___________________________________
Your detailed plan will be based upon getting this position. Have fun!
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by Richard E. Hinkie
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Career Planning Worksheet & Checklist
If you own Fast Forward Your Career, or your organization has made it available to you, you
have permission to make copies of this Career Planning Worksheet & Check List. Use it to make
a variety of potential career plans. Don’t be afraid to do some “what if” thinking. Make at least
one plan for the next logical promotion and another for something in a totally different area of
the organization that interests you.
1. What is the title of the position you most want to have, or be promoted to, next? (Recopy
what you wrote on the previous page.)
2. How soon would you like this change/promotion? ______________
3. Do the decision-makers concerned with this position know who you are? __ Yes __ No
Do they know you are interested in this position? __ Yes __ No
If the answers to either of the questions is “no”, you need to get better connected and
noticed (See page 35, Chapter 4, Career Success Principle 1 Get Connected & Get Noticed, No
One Gets Ahead Without Help). The chapter has proven tactics to help you complete this
section. Here are a few suggestions.
 Find a mentor. The person I will ask to be my mentor is ___________________________.
 Volunteer for the following task force or committee: ______________________________.
 Get involved in the following industry organization: ______________________________.
 Connect with the following peers outside my department:
 _______________________________________________.
 _______________________________________________.
 _______________________________________________.
 Become a company-sponsored community volunteer in the following activity:
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 Your Idea is? ______________________________________________________.
 Share my career plan with: __ boss __ HR
__ co-workers __ social network
4. Are you a “star” (doing a great job) where you are? Success Principle 2: Be a Star Where
Your Are, Chapter 5, page 57 will help you complete this section with steps that really work.
List three things you need to do to improve your success in your current position.
1. _____________________________________
2. _____________________________________
3. _____________________________________
List some “extras” that you do, or can do, to increase your “star” power beyond just meeting
List the name or names of the future “stars” you want to help develop?
1. _______________________ 2. _______________________
Trust is one of the most important attributes of “stars.” If you need to improve your “trust
factor,” list two things you could do.
1. ______________________________ 2. ________________________________
5. Self-awareness is important at all levels, but it is critical for anyone aspiring to work at the
highest levels in an organization. Getting to know your personality traits, along with your
thinking, and leadership styles, is part of becoming more self-aware. (Success Principle 3: Know
Yourself & What You Want: Create Your Own Unique Career, Chapter 6, page 73 will help you
with this part of your plan.)
What self-awareness tools have you used to understand yourself more deeply?
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Myers-Briggs or other personality trait assessment
C.A.R.E. Profile or other thinking style assessment
Worked with a mentor
Worked with a career coach or psychologist
Received a 360 review
Other: ______________________________________________________________
What did you learn about yourself, and how might you want to change, in order to make an
even more positive contribution in your career?
1. _____________________________________________
2. ______________________________________________
3. ______________________________________________
If you haven’t done this type of self-analysis, what are you going to do about it, if anything?
1. ______________________________________________
2. ______________________________________________
3. ______________________________________________
What part of your next promotion will be especially difficult for you? (Consider workload,
stress, impact on family, further development requirements.)
1. _______________________________________________
2. _______________________________________________
3. _______________________________________________
What are your motivations for seeking this promotion?
1. _______________________________________________
2. ______________________________________________
3. ______________________________________________
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by Richard E. Hinkie
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6. How much do you know about your organization and your industry? Anyone seeking a
promotion should learn more about his or her organization and the business and industry in
which it operates. The more you understand where the money comes from, what the products
are and who the stakeholders are, the better able you are to make a larger contribution. Check
off those tactics you have already used and underline the ones that you intend to use in the
future. (Success Principal 4: Understand the Big Picture, Chapter 8, page 101 has examples of
how other successful people met this challenge. Here are a few of their suggestions.)
Research your company and your industry online.
 Have a conversation with leaders in other parts of the organization to learn what they do
and how what you do relates to their success.
 Learn about your organization’s culture.
 Attend seminars or seek formal education to learn knowledge or skills important to the
overall organization to broaden yourself.
 Attend industry conferences or meetings.
7. Are you ready for the next level? Promotion opportunities won’t wait for you to get ready.
Success Principle Number 5: Be Ready: Develop Yourself & Perform As Though You Were
Already At the Next Level (chapter 9, page 113) can help you plan for what you need to do to
be ready for your next promotion opportunity.
What education, training, or experience do you need to become a stronger candidate for
your next promotion?
Where can you get this added education, training or experience?
(Be specific.)
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by Richard E. Hinkie
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Whom have you selected as your potential replacement? _______________________
(It’s hard to move on if you are indispensable in your current job.)
Will you fit in at the next level? Do you look the part? Are your language (grammar and/or
English as a second language) skills, terminology, and work style compatible with other the
people working at the next level?
Specifically, what do you need to do to demonstrate your readiness for the next level?
 Wardrobe: What clothes do you need to wear to fit in?
 Work Schedule: Do you need to adjust your work habits? How?
 Personal Issues: Do you need to improve you grammar, speaking style, terminology,
office organization, posture, hygiene, or any other item that might not fit in well in a
new, higher-level position? If so, what, specifically?
8. How strong are your leadership skills? Leaders are made, not born say the majority of
successful executives and everyone, even the most technically focused employee (IT, Finance,
HR, engineering and other disciplines) needs leadership skills. Success Principle Number 6,
Grow Your Leadership Skills, Organizations Are Ultimately about People (Chapter 10, page
125) covers this principle with excellent information and actionable tactics.
1. Whom do you consider really effective leaders?
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2. Why did you choose these people? What traits do they exhibit?
Now think about your own leadership skills. What actions can you take to grow those skills?
Look at the list of leadership traits on page 127 and the “What Do Successful Executives Look &
Act Like?” See the section on page 128. Here are some suggestions—check those that you want
to work on. Add to the list based upon your own needs (perhaps the list can be enhanced after
a 360 degree review or a mentor’s feedback to you).
 Become a more “Confident Doer.” Take some risk, make an important decision.
 Lead by example. Engage others in finding solutions that affect their jobs.
 Share the credit. Leaders raise up those on their team.
 Hang out with successful people. Ask for coaching.
 ___________________________________________
 ___________________________________________
9. Are you open to real change? (See Career Principle 7: Never Say Never: Get Out of Your
Comfort Zone & Capture the Butterfly Moments, Chapter 11, page 139.) Successful executives
agree, that calculated risk taking and being willing to tackle new challenges is a significant
career enhancer. Company policies, procedures, and traditions can only guide employees. The
more senior you are, the more you will face crises and challenges. You and your team must be
ready to take the best path forward. That will take flexibility and the confidence of having faced
tough situations successfully in the past.
List three situations in which you demonstrated flexibility in the last 12 months, or could
demonstrate flexibility in the next 12 months. (Think job transfer, applying procedures
creatively, taking on a new project.)
1. ______________________________________________
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2. ______________________________________________
3. _______________________________________________
If you were asked to relocate in order to move your career along, what things, if any, might
prevent you from accepting the move? Would you be willing to overcome these concerns for
the benefit of the organization and your career?
1. _______________________________________________
2. _______________________________________________
3. ______________________________________________
What concerns would you have if you were offered a promotion into management, where
your future success would depend upon team performance, rather than your own personal
specialist or technical expertise?
1. _______________________________________________
2. _______________________________________________
3. ______________________________________________
What, if any, relationship problems do you have at work, and what can you do about them?
1. ______________________________________________
2. ______________________________________________
3. ______________________________________________
Now that you have completed this Career Planning Worksheet & Checklist and considered
some of the action steps you identified, use the two-page Summary Career Success Action
Plan to make a specific plan to go after your next job or position.
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Summary Career Success Action Plan
Position Title Wanted: _________________________________ Goal Date: ______________
1. What actions do you need to take and when do you need to take them to be a viable
candidate? Use your Career Planning Check List as a guide—use these two pages as your
summary action plan.
A. Who do you need to talk to so that the right people know that you are interested and
qualified for the position?
When are you going to do this? _________________
B. Is there anyone who might try to block your promotion?
Who? ______________________________________
What can you do about this, and when? ______________________________________
2. What actions do you need to take to make yourself more attractive for the position?
A. What additional skills, knowledge or formal education do you need?
How soon? ________________________________
B. What can you do to improve your “Star” quality?
C. Are there any other actions you need to take?
(Think of the other Career Success Principles and your check list.)
1. ________________________________________
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2. ________________________________________
3. _________________________________________
Tell somebody—your boss, HR, your mentor, your social network-- that this promotion is
important to you. Remember, no one gets ahead without help.
Use the book’s content to help you complete your Career Planning Worksheet & Checklist and your
Career Success Action Plan. Use the tools over and over again as you move around the organization.
You can use it whether you are seeking your first promotion or looking to be the next vice president.
Only 10% of employees typically make a career plan, so be one of the smart ones and take charge of
your future at work.
If you want additional copies of the book, you can go to,,, or contact the author for quantity orders at [email protected]
Fast Forward Your Career
by Richard E. Hinkie

Free Career Planning Took Kit