It’s great to have your own career plan that maps out what it is you would like to achieve in your career. It isn’t so much having the plan that’s helpful, it’s the process involved in completing the plan that is most helpful. It should provide you with a structure to reflect on what you want to achieve.
Format of a Career Plan
At Tony Goddard Consulting we often help clients create their career plan fairly. We are frequently asked for the template for a career plan. Our view is that there is not one format for a career plan that suits everyone. We tell clients that there are some common components that should be included as part of a career plan. But these can be represented in a number of different ways; graphically, a gant chart, a narrative report, a mind map and so on.
Components of a Successful Career Plan
As part of your career plan you should consider all the items on the list that follows. If there are other things that need to be added to fit your situation just go ahead and add them in. The items below are not in the order you should do them, you decide the order that is best for your circumstances.
Time Horizon: what time period will your career plan cover? A 5 year plan will provide a bit more certainty than a 25 year plan. It is very difficult to do all the detailed thinking you need for a 25 year career plan. It is easier the shorter the period you choose.
Target Job(s): your career plan should be based on what job you want to have at the end of the period of the plan. In many cases you may choose to identify more than 1 target job. If that is the case try to keep to 3 or less roles to help you stay focused.
Current Skills: list out your current top 10 skills.
Current Competencies: list out your biggest strengths as a person e.g. influencing skills.
Skills and Competencies for Target Job: list out the skills and personal qualities required in your target job(s). This is likely to require some research by you, it normally does. The research is a helpful way to help you narrow down your future job preferences.
Energisers: what are the things that you will be doing on a day when you wake up excited by your day ahead? List out the 10 most important energisers for you. These might include things like training staff, hiring staff and doing budgets. You need to make sure that any job you do has as many energisers as possible as a part of it.
Drains: what are the things that you will be doing on a day when you wake up dreading your day ahead? List out the 10 most important drains for you. These might include things like training staff, hiring staff and doing budgets. You need to make sure that any job you do has as few energisers as possible as a part of it.
Qualifications: what qualifications might you need to obtain to do your target job?
Pathway Jobs: what are the jobs that you will need to do to enable you to get your target job? You need to research these pathways by talking to people in your target job roles. An example might be that your target job is to be an HR Director. You may find you have to have done roles in recruitment, management development and employee relations to get to the HR Director role.
Career Plan Review: once you have done your career plan keep refining it and amending it to reflect what has happened over time. It should be a live document that is reviewed at least twice a year.
It will take you some time to create a successful career plan. Don’t hurry the process as I said at the top it’s the thinking that goes into creating the plan that will be most valuable
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