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How to Come Up with a Career Development Plan

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No matter where you are in your career, setting measurable, specific goals will help you reach the next level that much faster. Coming up with a career plan will take some effort and time, but it will pay off when you are better able to understand where you would like to go next and what you need to get there.

Identifying Where You Currently Are

First, you should spend some time thinking about where you currently are, which allows you to think about your current strengths and skills. Consider the skills and experience you already have and what gets you excited at work. Perhaps you enjoy the planning portion of a project, interacting with customers, or leading a group. Write down the information you have come up with. Think about your current position, such as whether your education is currently finished or you would like to pursue other opportunities. Getting another degree can help you immensely in your career. If you are thinking about going back to school, you can look at getting matched to eligible scholarships and grants to help cover some or all of the tuition balance.

Consider Where You Are Going

Spend some time brainstorming where you want to be and what might be holding you back from it. Think about where you would be several years from now. Will it be the CEO of your company or in another industry entirely? In your thought process, also consider how you will design your lifestyle and avoid burnout on this journey. Balance is important and should be included from the beginning to set the right tone. Take these ideas and break them down into smaller portions. Considering your current skills and experience, where do you want to be in your career in the next couple of years? 

Analyze What You Need to Do

Think about how far you are from reaching your goals. Take some time to research where you want to be in three to five years and outline steps to help you get there. Perhaps you need to spend some time getting experience in a certain area, educating yourself, or developing certain skills. You might want to spend some time consulting with others in the industry, such as people at your company or others in your network. Ask if there are other things you need to add to your to-do list to stay on track to meet your goals. 

Creating Smaller Goals

You can create smaller goals based on each thing on the list and how you will achieve these. For instance, you want to become better at using industry-specific software. You will want to outline on the list courses you might take to learn it, practice time with others, or instances of self-study. And if you want to learn how to code, you might put other courses on your list. Make sure you carve out time to work on these skills. This can be on the weekends, evenings, or during your lunch break. This helps you create a timeline of when you hope to have each of these smaller things accomplished.

Featured Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay