A succinct, detailed career plan can be used to identify where you currently are, where you want to be and how to get there.

No idea how to start? Here are five key steps to follow when creating your own career plan. 

Step 1: Who am I? 

Think about what you want to do and how your personality, values, likes and dislikes might impact you career. Write down your answers to each of these to form your personal 'wish list':

  • What is my personality type and where are my current lifestyle priorities?
  • What do I like doing and what motivates me?
  • What do others see as my strengths and weaknesses?
  • What key things am I looking for in a job?

Step 2: What skills do I currently have?

Your current skillset can reveal a lot about where the next step in your career could be. Review your skills with these questions:

  • What are my qualifications and (student) experiences?
  • What are my main achievements so far?
  • What are my key strengths, transferable skills and specific skills?
  • What are my weaknesses and where do I see opportunities for development?

Step 3: Which direction do I want to go?

From the answers you can now start to formulate which direction you want to head in:

  • Which industries and sectors appeal to me?
  • What kind of roles would suit me?
  • How do these match to my own preferences?

Step 4: When do I want to achieve this by?

Now that you have established where you want to go, how will you get there? To help break down your goals to be more manageable for your career plan, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I want to achieve by a certain date? Think about it quarterly, half yearly and annually.
  • What training and education is required to support the plan and when will this be completed by?
  • Do I need to expand my network? If so, how will I do this?
  • How will I gain the additional skills and experience I need, and when will this be done by?

Step 5: Review and reflect

Every few months as required, it is important to monitor the progress of your career plan to ensure that you are meeting your goals, now that you have a clear path for moving forward.

Remember you won’t necessarily find the perfect career path when you first sit down to create a plan.

Hence, it is important to re-evaluate your career plan and goals to adjust to any changing economic and personal circumstances.

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