I am a huge fan of planning! I love to do it and I love to help others do it! I believe that when you have a plan, you are more likely to get where you want to be.

With that said, let’s talk about planning for your career. Whether you are just starting out, changing careers, or looking to move up in your current career, a career growth plan can help you achieve your goals.

You have to start somewhere, so let’s start with the basics.

1. Start with the right mindset

It’s easy to get caught up in the opportunities and challenges of the moment and lose sight of the big picture. But it’s important to remember that your career is a journey. With that in mind, it’s important to start with the right mindset.

“Taking a proactive approach to career planning is key,” said Karyn Mullins, executive vice president at Talent Served. “While it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, it’s important to make time to think about what you want to achieve in your career and what steps you need to take to get there.”

2. Reflect on your career so far

Before you can plan for the future, it’s important to look back on your career so far. Take some time to consider the following:

• What have been the most rewarding aspects of your career?

• What have been the most challenging?

• What do you want more and less of in your future career?

• What have been your biggest accomplishments?

• What have been your biggest failures?

3. Set short and long-term goals

Regardless of what stage you’re in, it’s important to set both short-term and long-term career goals. Short-term goals can be achieved in less than a year, while long-term goals may take one to five years to accomplish.

Short-term goals may include things like earning a promotion, getting a raise, or building a specific skill. Long-term goals may include things like buying a house, starting a family, or retiring.

To help you get started, ask yourself where you want to be in the next six months, one year, and five years. Then, write down your answers to these questions.

4. Create a career roadmap

Once you have a clear understanding of your career goals, it’s time to create a roadmap. This will help you determine the steps you need to take to achieve your goals and the timeline for doing so.

Your career roadmap is essentially a high-level plan that outlines the goals you want to achieve in the next three to five years. This can include anything from getting a promotion to moving to a different company or industry.

Start by identifying your long-term career goals and then work backward to create a plan that will help you achieve them. This might include setting short-term goals, like getting a certification or taking on a new project, that will help you build the skills and experience you need to reach your ultimate goal.

Once you have a career roadmap in place, it’s important to revisit and revise it regularly. This will help you stay on track and adjust your goals as needed.

5. Research your desired career path

Before you can create a career growth plan, you need to know where you’re going. If you’re already set on your career path, great! You can skip to the next section. If not, it’s important to spend some time researching your options.

Consider the following questions to help guide your research:

• What are the typical career paths in your industry?

• What do you like about your current role, and what would you like to change?

• What skills are most important for the roles you’re interested in?

• What is the earning potential for the roles you’re interested in?

• What is the job market like in your industry?

• What type of company culture are you looking for?

6. Develop the skills and attributes you need to get there

If you want to get a promotion, you need to show your boss that you are ready to take on more responsibility. If you want to switch careers, you need to show potential employers that you have the skills and experience necessary to be successful in a new role.

Once you have a goal in mind, think about the skills and attributes you need to develop in order to make it happen. Then, work on a plan to develop those skills and attributes. This could include on-the-job training, taking a course, or seeking out a mentor who can help you.

7. Work with a mentor

Mentorship is a key component of professional growth. You can learn a lot about the different paths you can take in your career by talking to people who have been there and done that. A mentor can provide you with valuable insights, advice and feedback that can help you make informed decisions about your career.

McGee recommends seeking out mentors who are both inside and outside of your company. “Mentorship is not a one-size-fits-all relationship,” she said. “It’s important to have mentors who are both inside and outside of your organization, at different levels of seniority and in different departments or functions. This will provide you with a 360-degree view of your career path and help you identify opportunities and challenges that you may not have considered.”

If you don’t already have a mentor, you can start by asking your manager or other leaders in your organization if they are willing to mentor you. You can also look for mentors in professional organizations, networking groups and online platforms.

8. Stay committed to your career growth plan

Creating a comprehensive career growth plan requires time, effort and commitment. You’ll need to invest in yourself and your future, which means you may need to make some sacrifices in the short term.

It’s important to remember that a career growth plan is a living document that you should revisit regularly. Your goals and priorities will change over time, so it’s important to keep your plan up to date.

In addition to updating your plan, you should also take the time to celebrate your successes. Achieving your goals, no matter how big or small, is something to be proud of.


Navigating your future can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and resources, you can develop a career growth plan that will help you achieve your goals.