Getting to where you want to be in your career is a daunting task. Crafting a career development plan can clarify your next moves and assist you in visualizing your final destination. But what is a career development plan, and how do you make one that really works? In this post, we’ll teach you how to do all of that, start to finish.
Start at the Beginning & End at the End
To have an idea of where you’re going, you need to start with where you are now. Write your current job position on one end of a piece of paper and write your career dream at the other end, even if it seems impossible to you now. Make sure both your starting and ending points are specific enough to work towards.
When thinking about your destination, think about what makes you happiest in your career, what you would like to see change, and the jobs of the people you admire. Deciding on the right destination can take some time, so stay patient and don’t rush.
Come Up with Possibilities in the Middle
Now that you’ve got the start and end of your journey, you can more easily tell what you’ll need to do in between. You’ll need to account for the gap in time between the two points with career steps, measured in how long you think each step will take.
Do some research and see what paths are typical for getting your desired result. You may find that there are many ways to proceed. Pick one as the most realistic or desirable, and then outline the steps you’ll need to complete to advance.
Talk to People Who’ve Done It Before
In addition to your online research, it’s a good idea to get expertise straight from the source. Talk to people who have your dream job or have done the project you’re aiming for and ask them as many questions as you can. While it might seem like these people got there overnight, each person spent a lot of effort to get to where they are now. Talking to them can make your dream more realistic and give you an idea of what to expect on your journey.
Equip, Work, Reward, Edit
If you were already 100% ready for your destination, you would be there already. Make a list of the things you’ll need to learn in order to make progress, and start working on the things you can reasonably undertake. Some career moves will simply take experience, but some skills can be mastered at any time.
As you make each next step in your career development plan, reward yourself for the accomplishment. Allow your achievement to motivate you further, and take a look back at the plan you created originally. Ask yourself some honest questions. Has my goal changed? Did it take me longer or shorter than planned to make this step? Is there something that’s holding me back? Being flexible will help you see your development plan as a strategy, rather than a binding agreement.
Taking the time to make a career development plan will prevent you from getting stuck in the same old routine and prepare you for the future you’re dreaming of.
Still, getting started is a challenge in and of itself. If you’re looking for a wide network of partners to come alongside you in your professional journey, WorkFaith is a resource that can’t be overlooked. Browse our offerings and see if WorkFaith is right for you.