A succinct, detailed career plan is one of the most useful tools you can use to identify where you are, where you want to be, and how to get there. Here are five key steps to help you create your own career plan.
Step 1: Self evaluation
To discover what you really want to do, try answering these fundamental questions about your personality, preferences and values in your career plan:
- What motivates me and what do I enjoy doing?
- What are my personal attributes and lifestyle priorities?
- What do my family and friends see as my strengths and weaknesses?
- What are the five key things I am looking for in a job?
Step 2: Skills analysis
As well as your personal preferences, your existing skills are an important indicator of the direction in which you could head. Reflect on your skill set with the following questions:
- What qualifications and experience do I have?
- What are my key strengths, transferable skills and specific skills?
- What are my biggest achievements to date?
- What are my weaknesses and areas for development?
Step 3: Setting your direction
Based on your key interests, attributes, skills and experience, you can now start to formulate ideas on the type of roles/industries that will suit you best. Try brainstorming as part of your career plan:
- The broad industries that really appeal to you
- The types of roles that would suit you best
- How these options match your personal preferences
- Key skills that may need development
Step 4: Committing to a timeframe
Now that you have an idea of where you want to go, it’s time to work out how you can get there. Ask yourself the following questions to help break down your goals into smaller, more manageable milestones for your career plan:
- What do I want to achieve within the next six, twelve, eighteen months?
- How and when will I achieve my training and education goals?
- How and when will I gain the additional skills and experience I need?
- How can I expand my network, and by when?
Step 5: Review your career plan
Having established your goals and how to achieve them, you will now have a clear pathway in which to head. It’s important to monitor the progress of your career plan at least every six months, to ensure that you are on track to meet your goals. Re-evaluating your career plan and goals allows you to make adjustments based on changing economic and personal circumstances.
Carefully creating a career plan will help you make conscious decisions and progress towards your long-term goals and ambitions. Ask yourself these fundamental questions:
- What are your values?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Where do you want to go in your career?
Set yourself a timeline, review your career plan as often as you wish and adjust your plan to personal and economic considerations.