Developing a concise and well-structured career plan is the best way to demonstrate your current position, what your career aspirations are and how you plan on doing it to any employer or client.
It sounds complex but we are here to help. All you need to do is follow these five key steps to a professional and successful career plan.
Step 1: Who am I?
What is your personality like? Everyone has preferences to what they enjoy doing, personal beliefs and values as well as likes and dislikes which will impact on your career decisions. Answering the following questions can be a good way to develop the foundations of step 1:
- What personality traits do I have and what are my priorities?
- What are my key career motivators?
- Ask someone what they think your strengths and weaknesses are
- What job aspects do you value and want to be present in the job role?
Step 2: What skills do I have?
Analysing your current skill set is a good starting point to discovering the next steps in your career plan. Considering your previous experiences and qualifications will help you start to analyse your core skill sets. Answer the following list of questions to successfully complete this stage:
- What academic qualifications do I have as well as experiences?
- What have I achieved?
- Break down your skill set and find out: My key strengths, do I have transferable skills and specific skills?
- What are my weaknesses and how am I going to develop and overcome them?
Step 3: Where do I want to end up?
After answering the questions above, you can now start to develop more of a specific understanding as to what you want to do:
- What specific sectors and industries am I interested in?
- Are there any job roles which suit me more than others?
- How do these roles match my personal preferences?Reviewing and reflecting on your career plan is a great way you will know if you are on track to achieving your overall goal. So, when is best to do this? We suggest you do it every few months as you will need to see where you are at and what is still to be completed.
Step 4: When do I want to complete this by?
You should now have more of an idea as to what direction you are heading in - but it’s important to make your personal goals more manageable by asking yourself the questions below:
- What do I want to achieve quarterly, half-yearly and annually?
- Do I need any additional training?
- Is my network of people and resources big enough? If not, how will I expand it?
- If I need additional skills and experience, where will I get it from and complete it by?
Step 5: Review and Reflect
Reviewing and reflecting on your career plan is a great way you will know if you are on track to achieving your overall goal. So, when is best to do this? We suggest you do it every few months as you will need to see where you are at and what is still to be completed. Having a monthly “to-do list” will be an effective way to ensure that you are continually reviewing your position.
What if it is taking longer than expected? That is fine! No one can write a perfect career plan in their first attempt, hence why we are advising you to frequently re-evaluate to help adjust your future plans, as personal circumstances and the business environment is constantly changing.