It would be nice if we could all graduate and immediately land our dream job. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. The gap between where we are and where we want to be can seem like something we’ll never be able to close sometimes. Maybe you’re trying to decide what kind of schooling you need to start down the right path. Perhaps you’ve already been through a degree program but just don’t know how to begin breaking into your chosen career field. Going blindly into the world of job hunting and career climbing can be a truly impossible task and you may not end up where you really want to be.
A great way to help yourself envision the path you need to take in order to reach the height of your career is a career development plan. Researching the skills you need and plotting a course can help even the most arduous of journeys seem possible. But what is a career development plan and how do you make one? Some career development plan examples can help you get on the right track.
Why a Career Development Plan Is Useful
Many people have some sort of dream job or a long-term career in mind. They aspire to move up in their chosen career field or to find a job that combines both their passions and their talents. You often choose a degree based on what your dream job and your career goals are. Sometimes, though, achieving your goals and finding that dream job can seem difficult, even impossible. This is why having a career development plan is a good idea.
A career development plan is a more “solid” way to see what your goals are and the path you plan to take in order to reach them. It is a sort of map that you can follow on your way to scoring that dream job of yours. Most people don’t have their dream job just fall into their lap, they have to work for it and your career plan can help you to see what skills you need to work on, what education you need, and what experience you need to acquire in order to have a shot at getting your most desired position.
By having a plan in place, you’re setting yourself up for success. With a set destination in mind and a plan for all the steps along the way, you’ll be better set up for personal growth. It can be hard to know where to start when you’re trying to get into a certain field. It can be even harder to strategically gain the skills and experience you need. When you have a plan and a clear goal in mind, it’s easier to stay on target.
A career development plan doesn’t stop once you’ve been hired for the position you’ve always wanted. You should continue to grow in your career even after you’ve landed the job. You can continue your plan to include continuing education so that you’re always able to bring something fresh to the table and to grow and change with the times so that your talent doesn’t remain stagnant. You may also want to plan for retirement and that is an essential part of any career development plan (unless your job is a life-long passion that you plan to continue). So many aspects of job hunting and educating yourself become easier when you have a plan.
Where Do I Find Career Development Plan Examples?
You can start by asking friends, family, coworkers, etc. if they have ever made a career development plan. Many people don’t, but if you find somebody who has made one, ask them if you can see what they did. Having somebody you know who can walk you through how to make your own is a great resource to have if you can find somebody. There is also a lot of information online. You can find examples of career development plans, outlines you can use to create your own, guidelines to apply to your career development plan, even templates.
Formats are going to vary. Some people like flowchart styles where each step is outlined and leads into the next. Others may write it all out in paragraph form. The format isn’t the most important part of the plan, what is important is that it includes information about where you are now, where you want to be, and what you have to do to get there. As long as it is in a format you can understand, that’s what matters.
If you need some extra help in creating your career development plan or you just don’t know where to start, you can try taking a course on LinkedIn Learning. You’ll be able to find a variety of courses on career development and planning that will include steps on how to make your own plan. LinkedIn Learning is simple to use and if you are already on LinkedIn, there’s no need to create a new account or learn how to use a new website. You just search for the type of course you want and get started at your own pace. Many of the courses include examples of career development plans made by others to help you as you begin creating your own.
Learn How to Create Your Own
Creating a Career Plan is one course you can take. This course is especially good for freelancers or others who work for themselves but anyone can benefit from taking it. The goal of this course is to teach you how to create a solid career plan so that you can be set for life when it comes to finding work, no matter what field you’re in. The reason this course is great for freelancers is that it also goes over the importance of selling your brand and self-marketing.
When you work for yourself this is particularly important, as you want to be able to successfully find clients, but this is equally important for those who are interviewing, attempting to move up within a company, or when doing things such as asking for a raise. Learning how to put your best foot forward and convince others that you are best for the job should definitely be a part of your career development plan. In this course, you will learn how to interview, how to market, how to monetize your passion, and many other skills that you’ll need on the path to your desired career.
Another course you can take is How to Develop Your Career Plan. This course will walk you through the necessary steps to getting your plan down on paper. If you aren’t already convinced of the importance of having a career development plan, this course starts by going over what a career plan is and why you should have one.
Once you’ve got that down, you’ll move on to creating your career plan and then on to creating a personal development plan. This works hand-in-hand with the career development plan as you will obviously want to develop yourself along the way, not just in regards to your career. By the end of this quick and easy course, you’ll know how to not only create a plan but how to implement it as well.
Taking Charge of Your Career is another good option. In this course, you will know how workplaces have changed over time and what to expect going forward. You’ll go over how to create both short and long-term goals, as well as how to create a career vision plan that is flexible and allows you to adapt as needed, since you never know what the workplace might be like in 10, 20, 30 years.
This course wants you to take charge of your own path and learn how to use your talents and skills to move up to where you want to be, whether you’re job hunting fresh out of college, switching fields after years in the workforce, going for that big promotion at work, or renegotiating your salary.
Plan for Success
LinkedIn Learning offers many easy courses, some of which you can finish within 1-2 hours. It’s a great way to learn the necessary skills quickly and in a way that doesn’t interfere with the rest of your schedule much. If you take any courses online, you should start with the ones on career planning and development as this is a vital first step on the way to becoming successful in a career that allows you to pursue your passions.
The courses mentioned above aren’t the only ones available but they are a good place to start if you’re just not sure how to begin. These courses will enable you to create your own career development plan and start putting it into action. Writing your goals down is one thing, working to achieve them is another. But by making a plan, you’re taking the first step towards achieving your goals and having the career you’ve always wanted.