What Is a Career Plan?

A career plan refers to a document that brings together the main objectives and actions that allow a person to achieve their professional goals.

Why Make a Career Plan?

A career plan is a guideline that allows employees to better structure their professional activities in order to achieve certain objectives. It allows individuals to identify actions to take based on their skills, progress, ambitions, projects, etc.

A career plan can also be useful for employees who are reluctant to make a decision that could affect their career.

Reasons an employee may want to make a career plan include:

  • Searching for a first job.
  • Seeking career advancement.
  • The desire to learn a new trade.
  • A professional reorientation.
  • A move to another country.
  • Going back to school.

When to Make a Career Plan?

A career plan is generally developed at a pivotal moment in a person’s life, such as towards the end of studies or during a professional reorientation.

The career plan benefits from being updated according to professional advancements in order to establish new objectives to be achieved.

How to Develop a Career Plan?

To develop a career plan, an individual must first take stock of their professional career. They must then do the exercise of assessing their skills, highlighting what they are looking for in a job, drawing up a portrait of their ambitions and identifying their main professional and personal projects.

The individual can then identify their objectives and establish concrete actions to achieve them.

What Elements Should a Career Plan Contain?

A career plan typically contains the following elements:

  • The guidelines that define the individual’s job satisfaction (the quality of professional relations, the level of remuneration, recognition, the desired degree of autonomy, etc.).
  • Realistic professional goals that can be updated.
  • The person’s personal ambitions (relationship, desire to start a family, community involvement, etc.).

What Are the Steps of a Career Plan?

The steps to developing a career plan typically include:

  1. Do a self-assessment: Draw up a professional portrait of the individual including ambitions, strengths and weaknesses, objectives in terms of remuneration, degree of adaptability, etc.
  2. Find out about the possibilities: consult a guidance counsellor or do research to better understand the reality of employment in the field in question in order to adjust the objectives as needed.
  3. Establish goals, actions, or milestones to achieve: define a framework to guide actions and professional decisions and set deadlines or chronological benchmarks.
  4. Take action: implement the career plan.
  5. Update career plan: match the career plan to the current state of progress and possible changes, for example in the case of a career change.

What Is the Difference Between a Career Plan and a Skills Development Plan?

A career plan is a guide that allows an individual to better navigate through their professional life in order to achieve concrete goals taking into account their personal life.

A skills development plan is a document that allows an employee to develop specific knowledge that is necessary for the performance of their work.

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