Career Planning: Key Steps To Consider In Creating A Career Development Plan

career planning

Career planning is an essential step toward success. Read on to learn more about making a career development plan.

Being a student isn’t an easy task, but what’s more challenging is graduating to face the realities of life. For most people, one of their goals in life is to graduate with a degree and work towards the future. But, it’s important to have a plan to ensure success in the future.

Some individuals just wait for their career to happen to them. But, it’s important to be proactive if you want to be successful in your career path. Career planning will help you get on the right path and give you the right foundation for reaching your goals.

What Is A Career Development Plan?

career planning

A career development plan is a written list of goals, both short-term and long-term. A fresh graduate or an employee who wants to change careers can formulate a plan based on what they want to become in the future. It involves the employees’ planned sequence of formal and informal experiences as well as any required training to assist them in attaining their goals.

Career Development Plan For Fresh Graduates

1.    Perform A Thorough Self-Assessment

In choosing a career after graduation, you must make one of the biggest decisions in your life. While there’s nothing preventing you from changing your career path in the future, starting right makes a difference.

If you think learning will stop after graduation, you’re wrong. In fact, in the early stages of your career path, you should make the most of learning opportunities to further hone your knowledge and skills.

Assess yourself and what you really want. Make sure your decision will both help you instil confidence and at the same time, make you happy. You can start in the assessment if you answer questions such as, “What do I enjoy doing?”, “What’s my passion?”, or “What job will give me both a means of earning a living as well as provide me with a level of personal satisfaction?”.

2.    Decide Where You Want To Be Five Years From Now

career planning

Set short and long-term goals. Decide where you want to be a few years from now. In today’s work world, careers take many twists and turns. In about five years from now, the future is very hard to predict in today’s environment.

Your likes or dislikes change over time, so it’s a good idea to reflect on what you strongly feel about your career. Create a list of your likes and dislikes, and what you really want to be someday. This way, you will have a source of motivation not to deviate from the path you’ve chosen.

3.    Assess Skills And Knowledge In Career Planning

career planningExplore your capabilities, your knowledge, and skills. Decide what you’re good at, what skills make you stand out, and what you’re passionate about. Reflect on your current skills, abilities, and talents, and compare them to the requirements your career path needs.

Create a list of your strengths, weaknesses, and development needs. You may need to ask for an outside opinion from a former mentor, a workmate, or a friend. This is a good opportunity to reflect on yourself by knowing what others think too.

4.    Set Goals

career planningSetting your goals in career planning is very important. While you can be successful in your career without setting goals, you can be more successful with having goals to look forward to. It can be your short term or long term goals. You need to make sure you set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, feasible and time-bound. Write them down to help you align your actions to your goals.

Career Development Plan For Those Who Wants To Change Career Paths

Some individuals do not get it right the first time, but it doesn’t mean it’s too late to change career paths. People seek to change careers for various reasons. Most often, the common reasons include things like; your career goals have changed, you want to earn more, you want to try something different, a new job interests you, you want more flexible hours, or you want to grow professionally.

Before changing careers, it’s important to have the right plan to guide you through.

1.    Reassess Skills, Knowledge, And Interests

career planningReview past successful roles, projects, and jobs to identify activities and skills. Know whether your skills will help you change careers. Also, determine your interests so you won’t go changing careers every time you feel unsatisfied with work. Doing something you love will help you perform better.

2.    Know What You Really Want

career planningKnowing what you want and love will help you decide what career path to take. A factor most job-seeking employees want is good pay, but most importantly, they should love what they do to reduce stress and burn out at work. If you are confident in a task, you will perform better and will not feel as if you’re working at all.

3.    Be Realistic About The Cost Of Changing Careers

career planningBefore pivoting to a different career, it’s essential to make sure you’re ready. You should have ample savings to support you during the process. Also, be realistic about the cost of changing careers – will you have a higher or lower salary and is it worth it?

4.    Set Goals

career planningJust like in career planning after graduation, you still need to set goals even if you’re in the professional world for years. Also, if you want to change your career path, it’s better to set short and long-term goals. This way, you have something to look forward to, reducing the risk of boredom, sudden decision changes, and lack of motivation.

Career planning isn’t as easy as it seems. It needs a sense of accountability and responsibility, especially in deciding on one’s future.

Do you think career planning is helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!