Career Development Plans Definition, Steps and Examples

Tue, 09/22/2015 - 01:15 -- Umar Farooq

Career Development Definition

Career development is a big term. In fact, to state that it is one of the most important things to do in your developmental life, would not be an exaggeration at all. In general, career development plans are decisions that you take early to decide what you want to do in life so that a comprehensive roadmap for your whole career is laid out for you, irrespective of the phase you seem to find yourself in. In short, it is a list that you fulfil so that each step leads you to utilise your capabilities to the best of their potential leading to a final goal. Career development examples can be found in the most basic of professions, from the graduate who decided that she wanted to complete her post doctorate to the little child who wanted to be a librarian and finally held on to their beliefs.

Steps to Create Career Development Plan

Organize your thoughts and put them on paper

Remember, Rome was not built in a day. In a similar way, you have to possess patience and remind yourself constantly that you have career development plans to follow. The best way to do this is to refer back to what you had thought.

Decide on beneficial tasks

There are 2 sub categories here. You would have a short term goal and a long term goal. Organize the short term goals in such a way that they eventually lead to the fulfilment of the long term goals

Minimize the unimportant tasks

Not everything you would do can lead to the fulfilment of the tasks you have set for yourself. As such, it is important to identify these points early on and take steps so that they are eliminated, or, at least, minimized.

Develop the necessary skills

Developing and following in your career development plans is a continuous process. As such, you have to update yourself with the necessary skills as and when required. Keep yourself updated and keep developing new skills based on the future you are projecting to reach.

Set goals and fulfil the checkpoints

Remember to reward yourself when you reach the goals that you set. Having motivation to continue is one of the most important things in any long term plan.

Examples of Career Development

Let us say Lily is a freshly minted engineer. She wishes to get into the research and development sector, but does not currently have employee development plans. What should her roadmap for the future look like?

  1. Get into the industry initially to get an initial impression of how her life would be in the long term, even if it means a basic internship.
  2. Get appraisals and a 360 degree assessment.
  3. Leave after initial experience gathering of about a year and opt for a higher degree. This, as she knows, is what is going to help her get better opportunities in the long run.
  4. The specialization will also help her narrow down her field of research.
  5. Begin job search with updated skill set and a better resume.

Your own career development plans might be quite different from the one listed above, but the most important thing is to make sure to follow it through.