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Career Development Planning

Woman Writing a Career Plan


Career development planning can be done on your own, but it’s always wise to enlist the help of a professional career development planner or agency to help you solidity a plan and get you where you want to go in your career.   Very few employers require their employees to create these plans. Employer-directed plans that address career development in the workplace are not always effective; many employees are afraid to be honest on these plans, as they fear that it will hurt their careers with their current employers, or cost them their jobs. An employer is less likely to retain an employee that plans to leave within the next few years, and will want to hang on to the employees that plan to retire with the company. Employee turnover costs companies a lot of money, and they want to avoid this. Many employees see these career development plans as a way for employers to weed out “disloyal” employees (but this is not always the case).


First, it’s helpful to know what information one of these plans should contain. Your plan should have a list of your current, short-term and long-term goals as they apply to your career and continuing education. Include training opportunities such as formal college and university courses, on-the-job training, and conferences and seminars where you need to learn appropriate skillsets and advance in your career. Think of where you want to be next year, in five years, in ten years and beyond. Many employees get stumped – they can’t see past their current employer. You don’t have to work at the same company forever, especially if there is no chance of advancement or further growth. You may not know where you will work in ten years, but you can plan for a higher-paying job, or a job with more responsibility elsewhere.

After you create your career development plan, keep it in a convenient place and revisit it yearly, or as changes occur in your education, training or job position. Keep it updated and feel free to tweak your goals as you make changes in your life. The career development plan should fit your needs, and not be just another piece of paper laying around your desk, or another file clogging up your hard drive. It should be a workable plan that can adapt and adjust to fit your needs; a road map of sorts.

Having a plan is the most important aspect of getting where you need to go.  If you need help with a career development plan, seek the services of a professional.


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