What Does a Career Plan Look Like?

Written by ruth pankratz
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What Does a Career Plan Look Like?

Trying to achieve career objectives but can't seem to reach them? Consider developing a career plan that will provide clear goals and strategies on how to succeed. Career plans can vary to reflect individual needs.

Simple Career Plan

A career plan can be a simple process that includes a few key questions and answers regarding a career objective for a set time frame. For example, a simple career plan could be comprised of answering the following questions and statements: What is one career goal you want to obtain in the next 12 months? List three improvements you want to make in your professional career that will help achieve your career goal. What weekly/monthly activities can you plan that will help you take steps toward making changes to reach your goals?

Simple Career Plan Example

Using the simple career plan outlined above, the following example shows a simple career plan result for a human resource professional:

Over the next 12 months, my goal is to shift from a human resources generalist to a human resource benefits specialist. Three improvements to make to achieve this goal are communicating my benefit specialist interest to my supervisor, educating myself about benefit programs and finding a human resource network that will help further my benefit knowledge. Weekly/monthly goals to take steps toward change will be setting up a meeting with my supervisor to communicate my benefit specialist interest, learning one new benefit program item per week and attending one human resources networking event per month.

Complex Career Plan

Professional self-assessment tests, occupational assessments and an examination of previous work history are typically necessary for a complex career plan. These plans, while a bit time consuming, can propel a career to new heights by assisting with ways to reach many goals and objectives. Complex career plans typically begin with a self-assessment test--there are many options--which once taken provide detailed information necessary for understanding strengths and are the starting point for developing a career plan. Complex career plans not only provide a road map to obtaining goals but can also provide a way to change career occupations.

Professional Assistance

Career counsellors and coaches are able to assist individuals with creating complex career plans, goals and objectives. In addition, these professionals can help with plan development, test options and clarification of goals and strategies. Furthermore, counsellors and coaches can provide helpful insight to assessment results and diverse career options that incorporate individual skills and strengths.

Short- and Long-Term Plans

There are several ways to approach career planning. However, short-term goals (1 year or less) and long-term goals (3 to 5 years) should be developed together but separated into short- and long-term increments. This division of plans will help to keep the focus on activities to obtain immediate goals while keeping long-term objectives in mind.

Career Road Blocks

Regardless of the goal, there are bound to be some barriers that will challenge the pursuit of obtaining a goal. By listing potential obstacles for each goal, it will be easier to develop potential solutions before the barrier stops career progress.

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