If you’re wondering how you’re going to get where you want to be, there are 3 steps you can take that will help you create your own career development plan. Sometimes the simplest of concepts or steps can be hard to do because they require thinking and effort.
Step 1: Discover where you want to be
As with all efforts, you must be clear about where you want to be when you create your own career plan. You don’t take a road trip without knowing where you want to end up. You also don’t need to overly complicate this task. I think the following questions are helpful in thinking out your destination.
Where do you want your career to be in two years?
Where do you want your career to be in five years?
What makes these targets resonant for you?
Step 2: Do a Gap Analysis
A gap analysis is where you figure out the differences in the qualifications between where you are right now and your two-year goal or next step.
Using a job posting or job description for the position you are aiming at is a good way to get specific information about the skills and experience that are expected.
Identify all of the items where there is anywhere from a fair amount to a substantial amount of development that is needed.
Look for commonalities and clump those together as a category.
Step 3: Create Your Development Plan
You are now fully armed with a clear two-year goal and all the details of where and what you need to develop to get you where you want to go.
Consult a mentor or boss to help choose what skills you need to add.
You may need to research various ways to get the skills you need. Once done, it will give you ideas on how you can approach these items.
You need dates. You need to keep yourself accountable to your plan; and the best way to do that is to give yourself a “start by” date. Keep track. You need to pay attention to your plan a minimum of twice per year. This will allow you to stay focused on your progress and remind you of next steps.
Career development is the sort of thing that you can easily forget about until you wake up one day to realize you have gone nowhere and aren’t having fun. You are responsible for where you go in your career. With a little bit of planning you can accomplish great things.