Sample Career Development Plan
(free worksheet and instructions on how to create your own career plan)



This sample career development plan will provide a good basis for you to develop your own one to five year career development plan.

Two career development plan examples plus a downloadable worksheet are provided here for your use.

How to Create Your Own One to Five Year Career Development Plan

Use the career development plan examples below by substituting the information with your own career goal details and then inserting the information into the sample career development plan download

This is one of the simplest yet most effective career development tools to get you through the stages of career development fast.
[If you have come to this page without knowing much about career development, see the ' what is career development page']

1. Download and print the sample career development plan worksheet.

2. Study the career development plan examples in the boxes below to get a feel for how your finished career development plan should look.
3. Using the guidance notes below and your downloadable sample career development plan worksheet, set about creating your own career development plan .





Sample Career Development Plan 1:
Customer Service Personnel transitioning to Veterinarian Career - Vets Assistant



Goal Title: Veterinarian's Assistant

Today's Date: 25/02/2008

Target Date: 31/07/2009

Date Achieved: ____________

Goal: Must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Relevant, Time Bound

I'm a 24-year-old customer service employee in a specialist retail chain.
After seeking some career change advice, I have decided I want to transition from my retail customer service position into a Veterinarian career by 31/07/2009.


Personal Benefits from Achieving This Goal.
Why do I really want to achieve this career goal? Be very specific.


Since I was a little girl I have always had a love of working with animals.
As I was growing up and into my teenage years many people told me that a lot of young girls like dealing with animals and that I should not necessarily make a career out of it.

However this passion to work with animals has stayed with me right through to the age I am now and after seeking some career change advice I am now convinced that this is what I want to do.

I do not particularly enjoy my customer service role.
My long-term goal [although not included in this career development plan] is to further my veterinarian career by becoming a fully qualified veterinarian.


Possible Obstacles and Solutions to the Goal

Obstacle 1. Other than working with my own pets and my neighbours, I don't have any significant experience with animals.
Solution 1. I will attempt to get some part-time and or voluntary work at a local veterinary clinic and/or at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Obstacle 2. I don't know how easy it is to obtain this type of job. What is the current job market like for veterinary assistants?
Solution 2. Arrange meetings with the two local vets that I have used previously and also Mr. P. from church who is a veterinary surgeon.
Tell them of my plan to become a veterinary assistant and ask them if they could give me 20 minutes of their time to ask some questions about this type of work.
Make a list of questions to ask each of them.

Obstacle 3. The pay may not be as good as the job I'm doing now. If it isn't, am I willing to take a pay cut?
Solution 3. Talk to Mr. P. and ask him what the pay scale is for veterinary assistants in the industry.


Steps Required for Achieving Career Goal
[each of these steps will include a target date, date reviewed and date completed: see sample career development plan download for details]

1.Visit local vets and SPCA for volunteer/part-time work.
Arrange meetings with two local vets with list of questions regarding training and the job market situation etc.

2. After 6 to 12 months of volunteer/part-time work, arrange meetings with at least six vets in the city to discuss possible job openings.

3. Talk to vet at church [Mr. P.] about possible job vacancies and also get the names of any other vets he knows for networking.

4. Locate industry journal and subscribe to it.

5. Locate and study more resources (Youtube, books etc) on animal care.


This sample career development plan is provided as an example to help you create your own career plan using the downloadable sample career development plan worksheet.
Other goal setting and career development tools including career development software and career development coaching are also available [see below]




Sample Career Development Plan 2:
Current Position: Call Center Team Leader, Government Employment Center.
Goal: Branch Manager, Government Employment Center



Goal Title: Branch Manager

Today's Date: 25/05/2009

Target Date: 25/05/2014

Date Achieved: __________

Goal: Must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Relevant, Time Bound
My goal is to become a Branch Manager of the organization I currently work for within five years. [there are eleven other branches around the country, and I am prepared to move to another location if necessary]

Personal Benefits from Achieving This Goal. Why do I really want to achieve this career goal? Be very specific.
I enjoy managing people and I love to be in control and steer the ship.
The excellent branch manager salary is also very attractive to me.
I have also had a hearts desire to own my own business one day, and this will be an excellent stepping stone to that.



Possible Obstacles and Solutions to the Goal

Obstacle 1: Current management may see my formal management training to be insufficient.
Solution 1: Discuss this with Mr. C. and consider management training from Institute of Management.

Obstacle 2: Not very proficient at budgeting/spreadsheets.
Solution 2: Inquire about night class-ask Mel for some training.

Obstacle 3: I may have a reputation in the organization for not being very good at managing conflicts with staff.
Solution 3: Investigate conflict resolution training and enroll. Read "Getting to Yes".
Read "How to Win Friends and Influence People".

Obstacle 4: Not sure what Mary [my wife] really thinks about the possibility of having to relocate if I get offered a Branch Manager's position in another city.
Solution 4: Schedule a real talk with Mary about this issue.


Steps Required for Achieving Career Goal
[each of these steps will need a target date, date reviewed and date completed which are not shown in the example below but are shown in the sample career development plan download]

1. Arrange time with Mr. C. to discuss possible management training with Institute of Management.
2. Increase presentation/communication skills. Join Toastmasters.

3. Deepen my customer service training. Read "Secret Service" book and two other customer service books in the next 18 months.

4. Take night classes or similar in budgeting/spreadsheets. Ask Mel if he can help.

5. Gain more self confidence around people. Lose 8 kg and enrol in gym membership.

6. Enrol in conflicts resolution training course to help deal with difficult staff situations. Read "Getting to Yes". Read or listen on audiobook Dale Carnegie's best seller "How to Win Friends and Influence People."

7. Organize career development coaching for one to two months each year to help me with this career development plan. Find out if my company will fund this.

8. Ask BM if I can run customer service excellence modules for CES staff on monthly basis to enhance my teaching and customer service understanding. ["You really only know something if you can teach it to someone else", he used to say]. Check with him regarding budget for staff cover during these teaching modules.

9. Discuss my aspirations and action steps with HR manager. (This step may not always be appropriate depending on the nature of your relationship with the HR Manager or other appropriate supervisor)

This sample career development plan is provided as an example to help you create your own career plan using the downloadable sample career development plan worksheet.


Now that you have familiarized yourself with the above sample career development plan, it's time to write your own.


Steps for Creating Your Own Career Development Plan

These steps follow the sample career development plan worksheet
[ download here].

The first few items on the sample career development plan including: your career goal, title, today's date, target finish date and date achieved should be all self-explanatory.
I will provide details on the other aspects of the sample career development plan download as follows:

Sample Career Development Plan Goal

Your career development plan must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound.

Specific
Your goal needs to be well defined. To be specific you need to ask the what, where, who questions about your goal.
Explain very precisely what it is you want to accomplish.

Measurable
To be measurable, you must be able to know without any doubt when you have actually reached your goal.
If the end result is not precisely measurable, you need to redefine your career development plan so that it is.

Attainable
Your goal must be attainable.
It must be able to be realistically achieved.
Of course a career goal that is attainable by one person may not be attainable by another depending on their motivation, and inborn job skills etc.

Your career goals need to have that balance between having a good level of challenge but not so much that it becomes unattainable.
Have another look at your goal.
Can you genuinely say that you think it is attainable with the right amount of effort?

Realistic
A goal could be attainable but not realistic.
For example, it might be possible to become president of your Zimbabwe based subsidiary, but is it realistic considering that you have four young children in school and a wife that doesn't want to live there.
That might be an unrealistic goal even though it is attainable.

Relevant
Is your goal relevant in regards to where you want to go long-term in your career?
Is your goal relevant to who you are as a person and what you want to achieve in your life.
Is it in line with your core values and beliefs as a person.

Time Bound
Does your goal have time boundaries?
If it doesn't have a certain date by which it must be achieved, it almost certainly won't be achieved.
Make sure you fill in the target finish date on your sample career development plan worksheet.


Keys to Success in Your Career Development Plan

One of the keys to success in achieving your career goals is to set aside regular appointments with yourself [for example each week] and have some form of accountability around your career goals.

This could simply be somebody in your work environment who you are close to and you trust.

If you are preparing this career development plan in conjunction with the organization you work with, then the person who you meet with and will mentor you, will probably be already known.

If you are doing this outside of your organization's umbrella, you could perhaps use a family member or close friend who would be willing to meet with you on a regular basis [say once a month] to keep you honest and on track with your career development plans.

Other important concepts used in a career development coaching include:
  • Commit to ongoing learning and enhancing your natural abilities and bents.


  • Commit to ongoing self-assessment. [Use the inborn job skills
  • assessment]

  • Commit to becoming a good networker.
    Learn how to become a good conversationalist.
    Up to 80% of all jobs gained, come from the hidden job market.
    And most of these come through friends and contacts.


  • Use other career development tools.
    For example, you may find it beneficial to engage in some career development coaching from a professional career development counselor.


  • If your career development plan includes self-employment, consider commencing a small part time business on the side to allow you to dip your toe in the water while not exposing yourself to any real risk.




Other related career development articles include:

Career development theory
What Is career development?
Career development tools
Career development coaching
Career development plan
Five year career development plan


Back to Career Development Articles from Career Development
Back to Career Change Advice from Sample Career Development Plan


Simon Davies Career Change Counselling
Gold Coast: Robina, Queensland Australia 4213
Phone Mobile (outside of Australia) +6148 1333 415
Phone Mobile (in Australia) 0481 333415
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