4 Steps to Create an Effective Career Development Plan

You can create a career development plan for reaching your occupation goals, whether you are just getting out of high school or entering a mid-life crisis. Having a professional development plan can help you remain focused on your ambitions and influence the direction you take in your career. 

Career development does not usually happen accidentally. A plan can more easily illustrate where you are, where you want to be, and the path between now and then. You can simplify creating a professional development plan into four steps.

How to Do a Professional Self-Assessment
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Your profession will play a huge part throughout most of your life. The average person spends close to 40 hours a week and 50 weeks a year working, and most people work for 35 to 50 years. 

What you chose to do professionally will influence your earnings, lifestyle, and, oftentimes, your feelings. Some people set a professional goal of: 

  • Earning a specific amount.
  • Helping society, such as working for humane and charitable organizations. 
  • Reaching a position, like CEO.
  • Working for a certain company, such as a Fortune 500.
  • Following their passion, like being an artist, musician, or writer.
  • Working abroad.

It is important to think about your interests and what you can see yourself doing in the future. Your values and personality can point you in the direction of a career you will love rather than just work. You can also ask your friends and family what they think are some of your best attributes.

Likewise, you should consider your abilities and skill sets. While you may dream of being a Rockstar, that professional goal is improbable if you cannot carry a note and have stage fright. If you are good at and enjoy math, for example, you could be a financial analyst or actuary.

You can also take a career assessment at a career development center if you are unsure about your abilities or even your interests. A career assessment considers your personality and skills to determine professional options that best fit you. 

The results may also identify something you did not realize about yourself or a career you did not know about. You have career choices from hundreds of different industries and countless positions. 

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