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How to create a plan for your career

A succinct, detailed career plan can be used to identify where you are, where you want to be and how to get there. Here are five key steps to follow when creating your own career plan:

Who am I? 

Think about what you want to do and how your personality, values, likes and dislikes might impact you career. Write down your answers to each of these to form your personal ‘wish list':

  • What is my personality type and lifestyle priorities?
  • What do I like doing and what am I motivated by?
  • What do others see as strengths and weaknesses?
  • What key things am I looking for in a job?

What skills do I currently have?

Your current skillset can reveal a lot about where the next step in your career could be. Review your skills with these questions:

  • What are my qualifications and experiences?
  • What are my main achievements throughout my career?
  • List what are my key strengths, transferable skills and specific skills 
  • List what are my weaknesses and where there are opportunities for development

Which direction do I want to go?

From the answers you can now start to formulate which direction you want to head in:

  • Which industries appeal to me?
  • What roles will suit me?
  • How do these match to my own preferences?

When do I want to achieve this by?

Write a list of the things you absolutely hate doing, what you don't mind doing and what you love and wish you could do more of.

Now that you have established where you want to go, how will you go about getting there? To help break down your goals to be more manageable for your career plan ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I want to achieve by a certain date? Think about it quarterly, half yearly and annually.
  • What training and education is required to support the plan and when will this be complete by?
  • Do I need to expand my network? If so how will I do this?
  • How will I gain the additional skills and experience I need and when will this be done by?

Review and reflect:

Every few months as required, it is important to monitor the progress of your career plan to ensure that you are meeting your goals now that you have a clear path for moving forward.

Remember you won’t necessarily find the perfect career path when you first sit down to create a plan which is why it is important to re-evaluate your career plan and goals to adjust to any changing economic and personal circumstances.

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