The importance of taking control of your career and accepting responsibility for your own career progression cannot be over-estimated. Developing a career plan is part of that responsibility. Proactively managing your career can ensure you follow a career path that will fulfil your own values, interests and ambitions and meet both your professional and personal objectives.
Managing your career is an ongoing process, rather than a single intervention. However, there are times when your career will require more input, especially if you are looking to change jobs or gain promotion. Reflecting regularly on your career aims will help you to develop a career strategy - planning your objectives and the steps involved in reaching them. A career development plan provides a useful benchmark, and allows you to develop a realistic picture of your progress. It will also increase your chances of ultimate success. Time spent in reflection is never wasted and will also help you to identify the unique mix of skills, strengths and limitations you have and assess how these may change over time. Reflection leads to clarity, so that when opportunities emerge you are able to make informed choices.
Working out a career plan will ensure that you spend time understanding and organising yourself, so as to develop your talents and abilities and make the most of them. You will then feel more confident about your future, and this confidence should be reflected in your general behaviour at work, or in interviews. Being career-conscious, having plans for the future and working on your own development all contribute to your overall employability.
Career Planning Definition
Career planning is traditionally understood as the process of assessing personal strengths, values and aspirations, establishing goals and objectives; identifying the steps needed to achieve them; and putting this information into a written career plan, which will then be periodically reviewed and updated.
Career Development Plan Tips and Action List
- Understand who you are
- Consider the direction you want your career to take
- Set realistic timeframes
- Stabilise your career
- Devise a flexible plan to meet the unexpected
- Forge ahead proactively
- Change your current position
- Change yourself
- Change your job
- Update and reshape your plan
For detailed explanation of each step and to find out more about career planning, view the guide below.
Download the guide