7 Simple Steps To Create A Perfect Career Development Plan
Setting specific, measurable career development goals can help you advance your career. While creating a career plan can be time-consuming, it will pay off in terms of helping you understand where you want to go with your career next and what you need to do to get there.
Developing and implementing an employee career development plan can help you feel motivated at work even if you haven't found your dream job yet, because it allows you to make concrete plans to get there.
Unless you have no plans to advance in your career, developing a “CDP” helps progress to bigger and better career achievements. This written plan outlines where you want to go in your career and how you intend to get there. Consider it your career road map, which will assist you in taking immediate actionable steps.
This section defines a career development plan template and outlines five steps for creating an individual development plan for yourself.
First of all, let's define a career development plan
What is a Career Development Plan?
A career development plan is a process that creates a person's professional life. It enables professionals to tailor their strategies to achieve their career objectives. It is an integral part of human development and influences a person's entire lifetime, beginning when they realize it is time to start working. It is the administration of a person's education, employment, and leisure activities to achieve a desired professional and personal future.
Career advancement can have an impact on the employee-company relationship. The company wants to increase productivity and have the employee grow as a professional to help them achieve this goal.
The following is an example of a typical career development plan:
The Now: Where you are now in your career is your starting point.
The Destination: Where you want to go in your career
The Gap: The obstacles you must overcome to reach the destination
The Route: How to close the gap to reach your intended destination
The organization will value employees who manage their careers, and they will be encouraged to advance along their chosen career paths.
7 Steps to Create A Career Development Plan
Create a career development plan for yourself by following these seven steps:
Determine your current position.
The first step in any career development plan is to determine where you are in your career right now. This step also allows you to assess your current skill set and strengths.
At this point, you should think about things like:
What have I done in the past?
What do I like to do?
What kinds of natural abilities and talents do I possess?
What am I doing at work when I am the most excited or motivated?
Do I prefer to lead a group, collaborate with others, or work alone?
What motivates me? What depletes my energy?
Do I have a particular calling in life?
What aspect of my job motivates me to get out of bed in the morning?
Take some time to jot down your responses to these questions. Take note of your current position in your field, including whether you have completed your education or wish to pursue additional graduate education, as well as where you fall on the career ladder.
Determine Your Field of Interest:
It may appear strange, to begin with, your interests when developing a career development plan, but it is beneficial. It aids in clearing your mind of any lingering confusion and makes it easier for you to find ways to develop as a professional with a clear vision of the type of work you enjoy.
The specifics depend on whether you want to be specific or broad. After all, it's never a bad idea to be too strict about your primary career interest. For example, if you want to work as a public relations professional, you can name the companies you want to work for and be flexible.
You can also list why you prefer one type of work over another. It will assist you in better sorting things out in your head and eliminating any remaining confusion. It is one of the primary reasons for creating a career development plan. The right plan can assist you in taking control of your career path.
Concentrate on Your Long-Term Career Objective:
Are you already working in your dream field, or do you want to make a complete career change? Doing some self-reflection to see where you are in your career can help you determine if it is the best path for you. Perhaps you enjoy the overall field but want to specialize in a specific area. For example, you could be working in the claims department of an insurance company but want to work in underwriting or training.
Examining your most valuable skills and your areas of weakness can also help shape your overall career goal direction. Consider the type of work environment you prefer and your career priorities.
Set the Timeline for Your SMART Goals:
Simply establishing SMART goals often results in them being overlooked, so to avoid this, you must include the before and after of all the short-term goals you've set for yourself. Setting realistic timetables is also an excellent way to motivate yourself to put in more time and effort to achieve the SMART goals outlined in your career development plan.
You can now proceed in the following manner, and you can choose to mention the necessary steps that you believe you need to take to achieve these short-term goals. It will point you in the right direction and assist you in reaching your goal.
So, when deciding on your short-term goals, make sure they serve as milestones toward your long-term goal. If your short-term goals are unrelated to your long-term goal, the effort loses significance.
The combination of steps on achieving your short-term goals, the time you want to achieve them, and the benefits of completing these short-term hurdles will make them much easier to accomplish if listed in a specific way for you.
Creating Action Steps to Achieve Goals:
After establishing your goals and deadlines, it's time to break them down into manageable chunks. These are the stepping stones that will lead you from now to where you want to be. You don't need to list every tiny little step you need to take; instead, concentrate on the more significant steps that will get you to your destination.
Assume you are an entry-level salesperson who aspires to become a sales manager. Find a sales manager mentor, network within the field, earn your MBA, and attend sales and management seminars and workshops as actionable steps. You could take action by learning and implementing new sales strategies, or you could outperform your previous sales results. These steps will assist you in bridging the gap between your current career situation and your desired career.
Identify Your Main Barriers:
This is the most challenging aspect of your career development plan to outline clearly.
You have the option of dividing this section into two distinct areas. The first section can be devoted to internal barriers, i.e., your characteristics or habits that may get in your way. The second section can be devoted to the external challenges you may face in achieving your short-term and long-term objectives.
Outline how to deal with internal and external barriers to make it more detailed and planned.
When it comes to internal obstacles, you can use routines to help you eliminate them or, at the very least, dilute them to the point where they don't jeopardize your career advancement.
With external barriers, you can create separate plans to address each one individually after conducting research, which will also help you clarify your problem statements.
Collaborate with Managers and Mentors:
Some companies create an employee development plan for each employee, but even if your company does not have a formal program, you can seek assistance from your supervisor. Managers can frequently provide you with ideas for potential career paths within the company to help shape your goals. Your manager may also advise you on how to improve your skills and increase your chances of moving up the ladder.
If you don't feel comfortable discussing your career advancement with your manager, look for a mentor in the field. This could be someone in a higher position within your company or someone outside the company in a situation similar to your desired career. Your mentor can help you refine your career goals and point you in the right direction.
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