Developing a Career Plan  

By Jennifer Kenworthy

Published on 10-09-2015

Developing a career plan

Any successful organisation will develop a clear strategic business plan, doing the same for yourself will ensure a successful career.

Conduct a Situation Analysis

Start with an assessment of yourself and the market you are currently in by doing a SWOT analysis, which is an assessment of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Strengths and weaknesses

The types of questions you might ask yourself include:

  • Where have you added value in the past?
  • What are some of your achievements?
  • What areas do you need to develop?

Opportunities and threats

To establish what your opportunities are, review your skills and where they are marketable. To determine your threats you might consider such things as:

  • Where do you need to up skill in comparison with other candidates you are competing with?
  • Do you require further education?
  • Do you need certain industry experience?

Also consider any personal priorities you may have and any other desires.

Write goals down

Write down clear goals regarding the type of organisation or industry you would like to work in. Undertake research on the internet, reach out to your network for advice and make sure you write down objectives and goals that relate to your career.

Be specific with time frames and give yourself measurable targets. These will change over time, but the key is to write them down, assess and review them regularly.

When writing down your goals:

  • Be specific as possible
  • Write a brief statement about why you want to achieve these goals. This will help when reflecting back or redefining your goals in the future.
  • Be realistic with your goals, make sure they are achievable and measurable and have milestones that will help you reach your career destination.
  • You can link your career goals to personal goals such as health, finance and personal development. They all interrelate.

Write a positioning statement

A strong, clear message about yourself is critical when you have the opportunity to present your case to potential employers. The aim is to sell your vision of yourself and inspire potential employers. You need to be clear on what you have achieved in the past, what your value proposition is and where you are heading.

Implementing the strategy - getting there

Now that you have developed a clear road map of where you are heading and have specific goals written down, you need to utilise as many resources as possible to make it happen.

  1. Use your networks

    Use as many of your own personal and business contacts to unearth opportunities in the market that might be 'hidden'.

  1. Find a mentor or a coach

    A mentor or coach can act as a sounding board and challenge you with your career goals. A mentor or coach is also someone you can check in with regularly to keep you on track.

  1. Engage with recruitment consultants 

    Recruiters are an excellent source of opportunities, in particular specialist recruiters such as Six Degrees who have strong networks. Having a clear positioning statement about what you have done, and where you are heading will ensure you are all on the same page. Forming a partnership with one or two consultants is your ultimate goal.

  1. Assess the market

    Job boards, print advertising, career fairs as well as the everyday media are excellent tools to assess the market and gain a feel for what is happening and what the trends are. Registering with the Six Degrees job alert will provide the latest job ads emailed directly to you.

  1. Stay focused and positive

    Implementing a successful business plan takes patience and persistence. It also requires constant review and assessment. Your career search is no different.

  1. Utilise Social Media

    Create a LinkedIn account and connect with potential employers and previous contacts. Ensure your profile is up-to-date and relevant for the kinds of roles you are looking for.

Connect with a Six Degrees consultant in your area of specialisation.