A well thought of career action plan can pave the way to a successful career.
After undergoing a thorough self-assessment and completely exploring all the viable career options that are a good fit for you, you need to choose one of these options to determine the best possible match. When this is done, you may now need to develop a career action plan to help you reach your long-term career goals.
In a nutshell, a career action plan can be viewed as a road map or a series of steps that will take you from choosing a career (point A) to becoming employed (point B). It can also help you stay on track as you move along in your career. When working on your career action plan (also referred to as Individual/Individualized Career Plan or Career Development Plan), you can either do it by yourself or you can work with a career counselor and other professionals.
It is important to note that a career action plan is dynamic in nature so you should consider changing or amending it from time to time, especially if your goals or priorities change and as your career progresses.
Strategies in Developing an Effective Career Action Plan
Define your goal. For best results, you should define what you want to do and when you intend to do it. Be very specific in defining your goal. Make sure that your goals are SMART (specific, measureable, attainable, relevant and time-bound).
Plan backwards. Experts agree that the best way to move forward is to plan backwards. This can help you see things in a better perspective and help you determine the things you need to do first before you can accomplish your goals.
Identify barriers and challenges. It is normal to expect that you will have to face some barriers and challenges as you work toward attaining your goals. One of the best ways to deal with such events is to identify them beforehand and determine the ways by which you can deal with them when they happen. Some of the most common challenges include financial concerns and family responsibilities. If you find difficulties identifying challenges that you may encounter or finding a viable solution for such challenges, consider talking to people you trust and ask for their advice.
Reward yourself. You should consider rewarding yourself for completing major tasks on your list so don’t hesitate to indulge in one of your favorite activities. Remember, it does not need to be expensive as long as you enjoy doing it.
Developing a thorough career action plan can help you reach your career destination so take time to do it. Don’t worry – all your efforts will be handsomely rewarded.