Career Development Planning: Keys to Career Success

Career Development Planning: keys to finding and qualifying for the right job for overall career success.

Career development planning is the key to advancement and is a measure of tracking the progress of your career. Also, it is a dependable method to study your overall personal goals and the steps taken as your accomplishments move you toward the right career.

Keys to a well thought out career development plan: The plan is a work in progress. As you move up one step there is another in front of you. You build in flexibility, one door may close but with continued career related research another soon opens. Your career development plan is not focused exclusively on your work but on your career, its direction and your interests and passion.

As you career plan evolves so does your resume. Keep it up dated through a file in which you keep a record of achievements, training, projects completed, new skills, promotions, performance reviews and positive letters and memos.

Begin keeping a file on job announcements in your career and any career in which you have an interest. Even if employed this is a good tip as you can identify where new qualifications are required allowing you to get the additional training and experience.

In the course of writing out your career development plan spend some time on exactly what your overall job objectives are. Both short and long-term and what you see yourself doing. Are there any obstacles you have to overcome? How is your development plan going to help you qualify for your next career or update your current position?

To make your career development plan work for you there are several personal planning steps that it would be productive to consider:

1. Research the proposed career. Use informational interviews to talk to those already working in the career. Attend workshops and seminars and area conferences. Build your network of like minded people. Work to determine what skills, education and experience are required to qualify for the position.
2. If your career direction is not firmly fixed, pick the top two or three and keep researching until a number one comes into focus. Don’t worry if you reject a career that at first seemed so promising, this is progress and it’s just as important to find out what you don’t want as what you look at favorably.
3. If you are planning a career change analyze closely what qualifications are required. Identify your transferable skills, and build a step by step plan to become qualified. In-line learning, self-study and mentoring can go a long way to become qualified in many required skills.
4. Add financial planning to your career development plan. If changing careers requires a reduced level of income, take that into consideration in your overall planning. Reduce overall debt to increase your options and reduce stress.

In any career development plan you have a series of long-term objectives, for example: reading books appropriate to your career, leadership, team building and project management are just a few subjects to consider. If you want to move to another area, you may want to vacation there first.

If you are looking at a career in another industry, research and study of the industry is in order. What are the overall prospects to the industry and the proposed career?

In summary, career development planning is a work in progress, and a valuable partner to growing your career based skills and qualifications. All of which should allow you to discover opportunities that match you career objectives.