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What’s a career plan and why do you need one?

When you hear the words “career plan,” it may not immediately elicit a great deal of excitement for you, but it’s a valuable thing to have, especially when you’re considering your next career move. So, what is it, how will it help and what should you consider when developing your career plan?

What is a career plan?

A career plan is a roadmap to develop your career. It’s a living document that can help you focus on the key sequence and actions you need to take to successfully move forward in your career.

Why is it so important?

Taking control of your career is the key to success. Leaving things to chance may work to some extent, but having a plan that identifies the specific steps towards your desired career is ultimately more effective.
Why? Because it gives you focus and energy in the right direction. It gives you a clearer idea of what you want out of your career, where you want to go and what you’re going to do to get there. As a result, you end up taking jobs that are the right fit for you and contribute in a positive way towards your overall career goal, rather than allowing yourself to be side-tracked.

What questions do you need to consider when developing your career plan?

Career plans are essentially based on three key questions:

  • Where am I now?
  • Where do I want to be in the future?
  • How am I going to get there?

If we break that down, so that you can be more specific and targeted about what you want to achieve, have a think about the following:

What do you want from a job?

This is a great time to do a bit of personal reflection. Think about what you want out of your career? What is important to you? What types of roles will give you the most satisfaction and purpose? What aspects of your current role do you love and what aspects don’t you enjoy?

What is happening in the work landscape in your sector?

Is your industry being affected by technological disruption? What does this mean for the future of your current work? Will this mean you may need to upskill to get to where you want to go? Are your current capabilities and skills aligned to what the job requires and the future of the workplace?

How will you develop yourself and your skills?

When you’re thinking about your next career move and what you want to achieve, think about how you might get there – is it making a lateral move into another sector or organisation? Do you want to develop a specialisation in a particular area?

If you’re looking to move upwards, do you have the required skills to do so? If not, how will you go about getting them? What type of organisation do you think you will do your best work in or will give you the experience you need to get you one step closer to your overall career goal? For instance, will working in a multi-national organisation give you the exposure you need and the stakeholder engagement skills required to propel you into your next senior role?

What makes you excellent?

Finally, think about what you can bring to an organisation, focusing specifically on 3-4 key skills that make you unique. This will not only help you to hone in on the types of roles that will help you to achieve your career goal, but also best position yourself for success during the interview process to win that role!

By considering these questions, you are basing your next move on a thorough and well-thought out career strategy and, ultimately, the career you want.

Moir Group offer tailored learning services to help you take control of your career, including career planning.  If you would like help to develop your career plan, please get in contact with our Learning & Development Manager, Ola-Dabbagh Roberts on (02) 9262 4836.

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