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If you’re considering a new career or looking to take your next step in professional development, you might find it useful to set out a career plan.
A career plan or action plan is an essential list of things you want to achieve and the practical steps you can take to achieve them. Action plans can help you to work towards your target and stay on track by breaking your goals down into manageable pieces.
Creating an action plan
Before starting your action plan consider the following:
- what you can do already
- what you'd like to do next
- what else you might need to learn before taking on a new role
- what external qualifications or courses could aid your development
You might know you want a change but may be unsure exactly what you’re after. Speaking to the people who know you best about what kind of career they think would suit you might help. You could also talk to someone who is already in your chosen career field to help you understand exactly what it’s like to work in that role.
Once you know what you want to achieve, you can start creating an action plan. Firstly, list the actions you’ll need to take (e.g. extra training) and write down realistic dates of when you aim to achieve them. Having a back-up option for how you might achieve your ambitions is also recommended in case you have to deviate from your original plan.
Putting the plan into action
Making a change to your career is likely to take time and hard work and is something that you’ll probably have to take on alongside your existing job. But if you want a change and you’re prepared with an action plan, there’s no reason why you can’t achieve your goals.