Developing a career plan
In thinking about developing a career plan particularly a change in career direction, it is important to reflect and take stock in a number of areas. The most important thing to do is to spend time reflecting and understanding yourself, your skills, your interests, your motivations and your values. You need to make the time, to find out about yourself, what really matters to you and how this fits with your life outside of work.
Often it is difficult to know how to go about developing a career plan, so treat it like a project or a journey of discovery. As with any project:
- Do break it into smaller manageable parts.
- Set goals and timelines.
- Allow and plan time for it.
- Reflect and review as you go.
Your career plan needs to be flexible, as it is likely to change and evolve over time. There are a number of resources and tools to assist.
Why bother with career planning?
You spend a significant amount of time at work and approximately 50 years in the workplace. It is worth investing some quality time in finding out more about what type of roles and organisations suit you, so that your work life is productive and makes you happy. Over a period of time, you may try some jobs or take on some responsibilities that are not very enjoyable, but you often learn more about yourself from these experiences, than not trying in the first place. Also, your choice of career or direction will most likely change over a lifetime, in line with your interests, needs and values, as well as organisation changes, so this is an ongoing process.