Career development planning is the process of career review and decision-making – a cyclical process that we may come back to at several stages in our lives. The process of career development is not just for those beginning their careers and making initial choices or negotiating mid-life career change. It is equally applicable to the task of career maintenance – of gaining a progressively better fit between our needs and the work we do.
Having and using our career development competence can encourage us to:
- review how far our work is using our skills and satisfying our needs and interests;
- identify our own development needs and what is required for effective performance;
- learn from coaches, from the experience of mentors, and others; and
- anticipate future change and prepare for opportunities that might arise.
Career planning tools have, however, become very elaborate and sometimes serve only to confuse the user. They often give the impression that the career development planning process is more complicated than it needs to be. In response to this trend I have created a simple tool designed especially for those planning a career change.
“My Career Development Plan: Five Practical Steps Towards Career Success” is available from Lulu’s online bookstore
Inside this book you will find, first, a guided introduction to the content of the planning tool and some suggestions about the process of career planning. This takes the form of the first five chapters of the book.
Then, in part two, there is a copy of the “Career Development Plan” tool that you can use yourself. The tool has five sections within which you can organise your own personal content. Once you have completed all five sections you will have your own career development plan for the future.
The five key areas that are explored through the use of the tool are:
- The essentials about me as a person
- What shapes me and makes me who I have become
- My core capabilities
- My goals
- The development I need and will plan for
The flow of these five chapters is progressive. Each will require considerable thought and reflection on your part. As you complete chapters three to five you will also need to do some personal research about labour market requirements and opportunities. This work will help you to create a “gap analysis” consisting of career, job or role requirements on the one hand and what you can currently offer on the other.