A career development plan can help you to ensure that you have a more satisfying working life, doing work that interests you and motivates you.
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A career plan should start with a clear articulation of your ambition, followed by a review of your skills and strengths and identified areas for development and all of this should relate back to your specific ambition.
STEP 3: QUALIFICATION
You may be studying for a BSc in Computer Science currently or an MA in Education or BA LLP. Presumably, you have chosen to study what you do because you enjoy it or are good at it? However, have you considered what you will do with it? I guess it is more straightforward if your ambition is to become a lawyer or a teacher. But what if, through your study you decide you want to set up a school in Zambia or start a business producing educational materials for primary schools? Your previous schools' courses and career development guides may not be enough. What if you decide that you want to use your law degree to help you fulfil your ambition to work with the United Nations or if you want to go into the family business as the family lawyer? All of this needs to be worked out based on your ambition and your current qualifications before you ask yourself and others … What other qualifications do I need in order to fulfil this goal?
It may be that you need to complete a professional qualification beyond your degree – as lawyers do or as accountants or teachers do. It could be that your ambition is to lead teams of individuals or build your own business. In these cases, you may want to complete a leadership qualification or an MBA. You need to know what is required and then plan to address it.
STEP 4: CONSIDER YOUR WORK EXPERIENCE
In addition, when planning your career you will need to consider exactly what work experience you require in order to develop your skills and capabilities. It may be that your first role will be a graduate entry level role that will allow you to establish yourself and understand the business. Beyond that, and depending on what you are aiming for, it might be that you need to pursue a role that enables you to build your management skills and leadership capability.
This should be broadly mapped out in your career plan. You should consider the roles that you must or should do that will give you the necessary experience to achieve your ambition. Failing to do this will potentially leave you in limbo doing a role that you have just got stuck doing without prospects of career progression.
A career plan should include a list of individuals who can help you to progress by offering you advice and mentoring along your journey. Putting in place a professional network is one thing, making it work for you and support your plan is another. Professional networking is often approached using sites such as LinkedIn. These sites can be useful to start things going but you will have to put some time aside in order to make it work.
Your career plan should contain the names of individuals who currently do the role you aspire to do. It should also include individuals who can support your skills development journey and individuals who inspire you.
Career development planning is important to understand and to practice. The better you become at this, the more you are likely to achieve your ambition.
The earlier you start to engage with career planning the better. It comes in all forms and will be slightly different depending on who you listen to and what their experience is.
A career plan is not developed as a single, one-off activity and then merely referred to. A career plan should be one of the documents, in your files that you refer to regularly and update it. After all, what happens if you decide to take a different route to achieve your ambition … what if you acquire knowledge about a job you thought you’d like that changes your opinion about what you want to do?
A career plan should be flexible and updated with your skills, knowledge and changes in route. It might be that you decide to become an IT sales consultant after working in IT support services after graduation, log it, research it and plan it … where does that take you and what skills and strengths will you acquire because of it.
When planning your career, keep your ambition in sight. Things are bound to change as you gain more experience and knowledge about how you like to work and what you want to do. Your focus should be on you … not in a selfish way but in a ‘being prepared’ way.
Planning your career with the help of online career courses will help you to fulfil your ambition – good luck and if we can help you then contact us using the address: firstname.lastname@example.org Or go directly to our website and take one of our career development courses: The Curriculo Industry Engagement Programme. Read all about it here: https://www.curriculosolutions.com/industry-engagement-programme