Launch your Career

Crafting Your Path: Building a Career Development Plan

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For ambitious professionals aspiring to reach new heights of success, unlocking your potential and achieving career goals is a top priority. Wondering how to advance beyond your current level? A career development plan is your answer. Follow essential steps to create a tailored plan that propels you toward success.

Building a Plan

  • Perform a self-assessment
  • Set clear and achievable career goals
  • Identify and address skill gaps
  • Create a detailed development action plan
  • Seek out relevant learning opportunities
  • Build a strong professional network
  • Find mentors and seek guidance
  • Regularly review and update your plan
  • Track your progress and make necessary adjustments
  • Stay adaptable and embrace new opportunities

Define Your Goals

To kickstart your career development, start by clearly defining your goals. Instead of a vague ambition to climb the corporate ladder, specify the exact position or job role you aim to achieve. Set short-term goals for the next two years, and establish long-term objectives for five or even ten years ahead. These progressive goals will lay the foundation for your ongoing success.

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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 a partner in a law firm or achieving an upper management position in your company that 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 as well as the rest of your 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.

“You have heard it numerous times – planning is crucial for everything, and it should be included in terms of your career. Having a great career action plan is the right move to jumpstart your career or make the necessary changes to achieve your long-term goals. Let’s talk about professional plans that are worth considering.” – 3 Career Action Plans

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 long-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.

Additional Resources

The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success
$20.00 $11.99

Whether you're a seasoned professional in search of a career change or a beginner just entering the working world, you want to make the right choices from the beginning. 

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04/13/2024 09:41 am GMT

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