1. Identify your goals
The first step in creating a career plan is to identify your goals. What are you hoping to achieve in your career? What are your long-term and short-term goals? Write down everything you want to accomplish in your career, both big and small.
2. Create a timeline
Once you know what your goals are, create a timeline for achieving them. Break down your long-term goals into smaller, measurable steps. The more detailed your timeline is, the better it will work for you.
3. Create a job description
Once you know your path to success, create a job description that reflects your goals and timeline. Job descriptions are typically created by employers to give an overview of the responsibilities of a particular position. Try to be as detailed as possible when you create yours.
4. Research your field(s)
The more research you do on the fields you’re interested in, the easier it will be to discover where your skills and interests align. Are there certain areas of interest that stand out? Are there particular types of jobs that interest or intrigue you? Once you answer these questions, choose one or two jobs that are a good fit for your career plan.
5. Discover what’s available
The more informed you are about the types of positions available in your chosen field, the easier it will be to make decisions about where to go next. There are countless websites and publications out there that offer information about the industry you’re interested in. Use these resources to discover what’s available and where it is.
6. Apply for jobs
When deciding on your next steps, many people choose to go straight into job applications, but this isn’t always necessary – especially if you haven’t done any research or don’t know much about the industry. You can start by getting your foot in the door with an internship or volunteer position before beginning a full-time job search.
7. Work toward multiple goals at once
When you’re creating your career plan, make sure to include short-, medium- and long-term goals. For example, you might be able to work on climbing the ladder at your current job while also planning for a future position. Work on accomplishing one goal right now, and keep the others in mind as you move forward.
8. Stay flexible with your plan
Even if you have a solid career plan set out, life has an uncanny way of happening. Be sure to stay flexible with your plan and be willing to make changes if necessary. If you do need to change your plans, don’t let it discourage you; instead, use the experience as a learning opportunity and grow from it.
9. Prioritize what’s important to you
There are many factors that should go into creating a career plan, but prioritize what’s most important to you. For example, if you’re passionate about working with animals but can’t find a job in that area, consider volunteering or taking an internship at your local humane society until something comes up.