Career Development Plans

A career development plan should help you review where you are, determine your career objectives and set out the steps you need to take to achieve your goal. It is a useful tool in self-development and can help you focus your efforts on the right activities.

Read on for tips on how to create one:

Understand where you are:

  • What drives you?
  • What skills and qualifications do you hav
  • How did you get to this point in your career?
  • What have you enjoyed most/least in your career history?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Know where you want to be:

  • Identify both short and long term career goals.
  • Where do you see yourself in a year/ 5 years/10years?
  • What is your ideal role?
  • What is the next step towards this ultimate goal?

What will it take to get there?

  • How will you accomplish your goal? How long will it take to accomplish?
  • What resources will you need?
  • Is your goal realistic? What challenges might you face?
  • What sacrifices might you have to make?

Write it down:

  • Writing one’s goals helps create focus. Write down your plan and consult it frequently.
  • Review your plan at intervals and make improvements where necessary. It’s okay if some of your goals change over time. However, any alterations you make should not result from lowered aspirations.

Share your plan:

  • Have a confidant or mentor to share your plan with and to regularly report on your progress. The ideal person will be someone who can actually help you evaluate whether your plan is realistic and appropriate. However, just the act of sharing the plan may help you to commit to it regardless of who you share it with.

Then, stick to it!

  • Having a plan is all well and good but you need to actually follow it for it to have any purpose. Don’t procrastinate. Get started right away on making your dreams a reality. The sooner you get started, the sooner you will see progression towards your ultimate goal.
  • Recognise and celebrate the small achievements that position you nearer to your goal.

In conclusion, a career development can be a great means of evaluating and planning for career success. It can give you focus and help you to commit to your goals.

Undoubtedly there will be obstacles and challenges along your path. You will need to possess a great deal of self-belief and determination to not be discouraged. Aim high and have some self-belief in your ability to fulfill your ambitions.

“Visualise success and put yourself in the picture.”


If you are a Nigerian professional looking for your next career move, sign up at SHORTLIST Nigeria and reserve your space in our talent pool.