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How to develop a career plan

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Matt Darvill Career Advice, Work, Tips...

Setting clearly defined career goals and aspirations is vital to job satisfaction, work-life balance and wellbeing. By having a direction, and knowing the necessary steps to get there, we can give ourselves clarity in our working lives. By having this vision of where we want to progress to, it can serve as a constant motivator, ensuring a far higher chance of success in your career.

So, how do you start to develop this plan? And which resources can you use to help you on the way?

Self-Reflection

This has to be the starting point when trying to establish where you want to go in your future career. It’s essential for productivity and performance, and will allow you to gain some career perspective and quantify your interests and goals. The reflection should be focussed around your personality, looking at your values, skills and passions. This will allow you to establish what you enjoy, both personally and professionally, where your interests lie.

Goals

The next step is to set measurable, attainable goals. We’ve written about using SMART goals in the past, and this remains a useful technique to ensure you can closely track your progress. Some useful advice is to share these with a friend. This means that someone else can hold you accountable and remind you of your progress. Sharing your targets also carried a higher chance of success, with 75% of people who wrote them down and shared, achieving their target.

Develop a Plan

Once you have reflected on your career and personal interests, and have some attainable goals written down, you can really start to delve into a plan of action. Perhaps you need to develop technical skills on a piece of software, get more experience in an industry, or even learn a new language. You initially need to pinpoint what it is that’s preventing you from applying and changing your role. If you have a couple of potential career moves, map out the pros and cons of each, and evaluate how each path aligns with your values and interests.

This can help people taking their first steps, or experienced professionals looking for a change, developing an achievable plan is the best way of staying on the right track. If you’re looking for a change of career, we have loads of vacancies from across the region, take a look at all our roles here.