If you are a career-minded individual with a desire to advance your career to the ultimate levels of success, you may be wondering how you can move beyond your current level and achieve your goals. One of the best steps that you can take to get your career moving in the right direction is to prepare a career development plan. By following a few key steps, you can prepare a career development plan that can guide you to success.
Define Your Goals
As a first step, you should define which specific goals you want to achieve. Rather than simply state that you want to climb the corporate ladder, for example, define which specific position or job role you want to achieve. Develop a goal for yourself for the next two years as well as for five and even ten years down the road. These likely will be progressive goals that will build upon your success. When defining what your goals are, it is important to understand why you want to achieve these goals. For example, what is it about making partner in a law firm or achieving an upper management position in your company appeals to you? It is beneficial to define where you want to go and why you want to get there.
Outline Your Path
Clearly, some things will need to happen before you can achieve your two year goal, your five year goal on so on. Perhaps you need to go back to school and obtain your Master’s degree, earn a specific industry certification, obtain specific experience that you don’t yet have or something else. You may need to research job descriptions and prerequisites for those jobs in order to fully outline your path. While reviewing one job description may be helpful, you should consider reviewing several so that you get a more complete understanding of what you actually need to do in order to achieve your goals.
Develop Your Plan
At this point, you have defined your career goals for the next several years, and you have a good grasp of what is required in order for you to achieve those goals. Now, you simply have to develop a plan of action for obtaining the new skills, education and other prerequisites that are needed to help you advance to the next level. While you want to develop your plan for your immediate goals now, you should also maintain focus on your longer term goals as well. Keep in mind that some prerequisites for higher level positions may require five, ten or more years of experience with a specific skill. Because of this, you should begin working on those skills now.
It is not enough to simply create a career development plan. This plan can serve as a guide for you to follow for years to come. Refer back to it several times per year to ensure that you are still on track to meet your goals, and make adjustments as needed. As you achieve one goal, you can consider updating your plan by adding new goals if needed.
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