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How to create a career development plan

How to create a career development plan

Where are you in your career? Is it time for a career development plan? Let’s assume here that you have a job and that you need to spell out some next steps as you develop yourself in your career/organization.


A Career Development Plan starts with looking at the key elements of your current situation, by means of asking yourself some specific questions. I have posted some below for you to use as a guide in this process. You may come up with some others as you work through the process.

  • What is my level of satisfaction in my current job?
  • What is the fit with my education/background?
  • How do I fit with the organizational culture?
  • When I ask myself: “Do I want to work here?” how do I respond?

How to create a career development planOf course the question: “How am I doing in this job?” comes into play as well. Look at any past annual reviews you have. You can also ask colleagues, direct reports, bosses at your current or past organizations to get good information.

Other elements

Other things to consider as you evaluate your situation are:

  • Fit with family/personal life?
  • Finances- do I earn enough?
  • What is the industry strength?
  • Are there chances for advancement?

The Big Five elements of career

When I work with my career coaching clients, I frequently have them complete these exercises/instruments:

  • Skills- what do I know how to do?
  • Strengths- what comes naturally to me?
  • Interests- what career areas am I interested in?
  • Personality- what jobs are a good fit for my type?
  • Values- what is important to me in my organization/career?

This information provides an important perspective to complete the Self-assessment phase.

Putting the information together

Now comes the task of reviewing the information and moving towards some important choices. Generally, people will move towards these areas:

  • Stay in this organization and work my way up
  • Stay here for now; enhance needed skills and look for another job
  • Move on
For further information:

If you would like to discuss this process in greater detail, or complete any of the assessment tools, please contact me.

By Jess Dods

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