How To Fulfil Your Career Development Plan: A Step By Step Guide

How To Fulfil Your Career Development Plan: A Step By Step Guide

You must have goals and ambitions to reach a particular economic and social hierarchy level. Many ambitious people aspire to get a lucrative job with high career prospects. But, the question is does everyone get what they want just because they are thinking of it. According to career counselling experts’ wishful thinking doesn’t lead you anywhere in life. Success in life requires planning for both short-term and long-term goals. A career plan provides you with a blueprint to make changes in order to achieve your goals incrementally. It helps to make you realize your strengths and weaknesses. A career plan helps to bridge the gaps in your skills and knowledge.

A career development plan consists of short and long-term goals that individuals make. The plan pertains to their current and future jobs. A career development plan is a consistent sequence of those experiences that assists people to achieve their goals. These goals must be linked to each individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Career Plan is now an established practice in universities, especially for business students. They develop a Personal Development Plan to highlight the learning process. It also delineates the short and long term goals and skills required to achieve them. Similarly, employees make a career plan aligned with their realistic and achievable ambitions. This article by The Academic Papers UK will inform its readers on creating an effective career development plan.

What is the Purpose of a Career development plan?

  • Career development plan assists fresh graduates and employees in achieving their goals
  • It helps the individuals to advance their skills and improves their performance
  • It helps people to make progress in their careers
  • Also, it enhances your self-image knowing about your strengths and weaknesses
  • It helps you compile a list of actionable steps for achieving your career goals
  • It helps you understand what you need to improve, such as acquiring a new skill, degree or a certification
  • Helps to navigate the search and interview process of a job

How to create a Career development plan?

You can follow these five steps to creating a professional career development plan:

  1. Self-Assessment
  2. Define your Short and long-term goals
  3. Gap Analysis
  4. Strategies
  5. Identify your resources


Self-assessment helps to make you more aware of yourself. It can also make you aware of your learning metaphor and what kind of a learner you are. Self-assessment allows the individuals to contextualize their current roles with their career goals. It helps people identify their professional interests, knowledge and skills. Once you identify your knowledge, interests and skills, you can start working on your weaknesses to help you achieve long term goals.

A self-assessment plan can also help you to identify your transferable skills. Many employers seek those candidates who possess those skills that are beneficial for their business. Transferable skills comprise the following:

  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Teamwork and leadership
  • Proficiency in Technology

Define your Short and long term goals

Once you identify and define your goals, it gives direction to your career development plan. It is essential to develop realistic goals to give you the desired results. All you have to do is define your goals and take the proper steps to achieve them. Keep the following things in mind while deciding about your goals.

  • Make specific goals
  • Align your career goals with the position you aspire for
  • Choose a career goal that is in conjunction with your talents and expertise

Now, we have a generic view about formulating goals. Let’s take a look at the importance of short-term goals.

Short term goals

Short term goals serve as milestones that you set to achieve the long-term goals. Furthermore, short term goals have the following characteristics:

  • Quicker to achieve
  • It fills you with a sense of accomplishment and keeps you motivated
  • Short term goals are the baby steps that you achieve along the way
  • Short term goals take three months to a few years

There is no limit to setting the timespan for short term goals. People have different aspirations and expectations regarding their careers. But, short term goals are a preamble to achieve long term goals.

Gap Analysis

Gap Analysis is an essential aspect of a successful career plan. It determines your strengths and weaknesses. It helps you identify the skills you lack and motivates you to improve them. After identifying your short- and long-term goals, assess your capabilities. It encompasses the following

  • What are your current skills?
  • Are those skills enough for the career you want to pursue?
  • What are your qualifications? Do you need another degree or a certification?
  • Rate your skills and experiences on a scale of 1-5
  • Start improving those skills and experiences that have a low score


Strategies are those steps that help you achieve your goals. You can outline different approaches on how will you achieve your goals. The different approaches include learning by doing, reading, education, and reflection. It is recommendable to have experiential learning strategies to get hands-on learning experience. Here are some of the essential strategies in a career development plan.

  • If you are thinking about a career change, devise a plan to acquire the relevant education, certifications and skills. Ask yourself how you will achieve all of the necessary skills for a career change.
  • Reach out to advisors and mentors. They can be your former teachers, supervisors or managers. You can also consult professional career development consultants to assist you with the plan.
  • Ask your manager at the current position where you are working to give you more responsibilities. It will help you to build your skillset.

Identify your resources

Identifying resources and the available means to achieve your goals is very important. It would help if you asked yourself the following questions:

  • What resources do I have to achieve my goals?
  • What resources will I need to achieve my goals?
  • How will I acquire those resources?
  • Do I have to attend online courses to improve my skills?
  • Shall I join any workshops and networking events?


Career Development Plan is essential for both fresh graduates and professionals. It is an essential tool to advance your career. When you map out your career plan, it keeps you inspired and motivated at work. You start working to attract better opportunities for yourself. It helps to keep you in a healthy and elevated state.