Life is what happens to you while your busy making other plans.

Plans are important

I was talking with a student of mine today about the need for youth workers to have plans. Career plans. Professional development plans. Self-care plans. Plans for working with clients. Plans for networking. Plans, plans, plans. It dawned on me as I said this that most youth workers I know don’t really do this. We sit around and lament that nothing is happening or we spend our time up to our neck in crisis.

Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance

plans are important
Planning meeting in progress

Making plans

If we are to excel as youth workers, to truly become “Ultimate” we must plan our work and work our plan. If we do not plan we are at the mercy of whatever storm comes our way. When we don’t have plans we are saying blatantly that we do not care what happens in the future.

We need to become proficient at forward planning. It doesn’t mean we have to have it all worked out… But we have to start somewhere.

Here are a few places for us to begin our plans.

Career development: Begin by getting a handle on the type of youth work career you want. Then work out where you are starting from. Think about the depth and breadth of your qualifications, the experience you have and your values. Then plan for your future. Listen to this podcast to help you out with this task.

Self Care Plan: There are really only a few things our team harp on about and at the top of the list is self care. Youth workers really struggle with this concept so its a good place to begin a plan. Try this one.

Networking: A youth worker is only as good as the network they keep. Ultimate Youth Workers know that they need a solid network. It helps us to provide the most exceptional service to our young people. Plan who you need on your network and use a tool like LinkedIn to manage it.

With these quick plans in hand you will be better than 90% of your colleagues who fail to plan even a little. But don’t rest on your laurels. Get out a piece of paper and start planning today.

Aaron Garth

Aaron Garth is the Executive Director of Ultimate Youth Worker. Aaron has worked as a youth worker in a number of settings including local church, street drug and alcohol outreach, family services, residential care, local government and youth homelessness since 2003. Aaron is a regular speaker at camps, retreats, & youth work training events and is a dedicated to seeing a more professional youth sector in Australia. Aaron is a graduate of RMIT University and an alumnus of their youth work program. He lives in Melbourne with his wife Jennifer & their daughters Hope, Zoe, Esther, Niamh and son Ezra.

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