Career development planning is simply a practical guide used by individuals to advance in their careers or jobs. It helps you establish whether you are moving forward in your career or what barriers are holding you back. Some things that a career development plan addresses are educational qualifications as well as skills and abilities.
Career planning is important for several reasons.
1. It allows you to set goals. Goal setting is a crucial part of career development planning. You can set short or long-term goals that will benefit your professional development. Goals allow you dedicate your efforts to something specific. Accordingly, you are more likely to work in a position or job that you desire.
2. A plan helps you design your own development. Career planning allows you to control the development of your own career. You can focus your efforts towards your career goals and objectives and ultimately to your overall progress. Without a career development plan you do not focus on your needs or goals, but on the goals of the company that you work for or your boss.
3. Career development planning also allows you to maintain a competitive edge. As you improve your abilities and educational qualifications, your new skills and additional certifications can help you remain competitive in the work place. The additional skills can even help you earn more money; individuals who possess extra sets of skills earn more and provide more value to their company.
4. Having a career development plan helps to demonstrate that you are keen on advancing your capabilities and knowledge. This desire for higher education and self improvement will make you very attractive to prospective employers. Employers see individuals who are constantly developing themselves as assets.
5. A career development plan allows you to factor in resignations, possible relocations and even mid career switches into you life plan. The benefit of this is that it makes you flexible. Having flexibility in your career is very important as it helps increase your odds of staying employed at your average income level instead of becoming under-employed.
If you are unsure on how to draft or create a development plan, you should to consult a professional. There are also numerous websites that offer tips on how to go about drafting your own career plan. Simply search for a career development plan in any of the major search engines.