A career development plan is about your vision for the future.
But where should you start? What sort of things will you need to consider?
If you are in an established career, what has happened in your career so far will have a significant influence on what you decide to do next.
If your career is just starting, or perhaps you're still deciding what to study at college, you might be better advised to get started with a career interest test, or perhaps even career aptitude test to assist you in your career development planning.
This activity is for people in established careers.
To do the following exercise effectively you will need to create a simple worksheet - either handwritten, or create a MS Word document, or similar, on your computer.
Put the following headings on your worksheet:
Fill in the details for each position that you've held, starting with the oldest position/s first. Write a brief sentence or two about what was involved each position.
Now it's time to add some extra headings to your worksheet so that you can do an overall analysis:
Make a new heading "Career satisfaction"
Next, consider all the positions you've written down in your worksheet. Can you identify which jobs, or parts of some of your jobs that have been the major sources of job satisfaction for you? Reflect on:
From these questions are you able to identify any common patterns or themes emerging from your career history? Write some comments about patterns you can see in relation to your level of job satisfaction.
Make another heading on your worksheet "Career dissatisfaction summary"
Considering all the positions you've held in your career, what have been the major sources of job dissatisfaction for you. Consider:
From these questions, write some comments summarising any patterns or common themes you can see regarding your level of job dissatisfaction.
What are the implications of your major sources of job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction on your future career objectives?
If you are considering a career change opportunity, have you clarified your reasons for making a career change - are you doing this for the right reasons?
There's a saying along the lines of "people who forget the past are condemned to repeat it".
The previous exercise can be particularly helpful to you in setting career objectives and clarifying your career change motivation.
The idea is look for a role which contains those elements that have contributed to your past job satisfaction.
And obviously - avoid roles that contain elements that have contributed to job dissatisfaction for you in the past.
There are 168 hours in a week. You will sleep for 56 hours if you are an 8 hour a night sleeper.
That leaves 112 hours that can be used at your own discretion.
Most people will either want to, or have to, spend some of those hours working. But, most of us also have other priorities and commitments in our lives which requires further decisions about how to use our time.
In putting together your career development plan it is essential that you consider your career objectives and career choices in the context of other needs that you have in your life.
Therefore, as a part of your career development planning for your ideal next career move consider how many hours of your week that you would like to use in the following areas:
Based on a review of your past career and life balance priorities you are now in a much stronger position to establish your career objectives.
You should clearly define your job or career change opportunity by writing your career objectives down.
Here are some suggested headings for this:
Now that you've a quite specific statement of your career objectives you are well placed to carry out targeted career research of your next job or career change opportunity.
You can, as a result, do quite specific job searches for advertised positions.
Similarly you can now also embark on a targeted job search networking strategy.
If you are in an established career this is most likely how you'll identify your next job or career change opportunity.
You may already know this important fact - that 60-80% of the work that is available is not advertised. These jobs in the hidden market are filled through networking.
The process that has been described here is not complex. Rather it consists of some common sense steps and a range of questions that will help you to fully explore: