Career Growth: Steps to Create a Career Development Plan

career development guide

Career Growth: Steps to Create a Career Development Plan

A career development plan is an important step for anyone deliberate about advancing in their career. Writing a career development plan forces you to seriously consider where you’re currently placed in your career, where you intend to be, steps on how to get there and how to measure these steps alongside your overall go.

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Steps to Create a Career Development Plan

Here’s how to create one customised to your interests and overall ambition:

1. Start by establishing your overall career goals

Here, you take out the primary interest in your career, For example you want to work in marketing, you could write “I want to be a brand specialist”.

Now that this is identified, you have to narrow it down.

What skills make you most efficient at your workplace?

Note that even if you are unemployed, you possess some innate skills that can be beneficial to you in the workplace. Identify them. You can easily pick this out from your hobbies and educational background.

Honestly access where you currently are. Remember, being unemployed is inconsequential here. Knowing where you are is the only way to access where you need to be.

Ask and answer these questions;

  • What is your current position in your career space? ( student, graduate, unemployed, entry level, etc). Find out where you place on the career ladder.
  • Where do I want to be in the future? Don’t worry about dreaming too big. Think about what position on the career ladder tugs at your career fulfilment invisible shirt the most.

Remember if you don’t determine where you are headed, you might be headed nowhere.

So, you could have something like “I want to be the chief brand executive at a tech company, brand agency etc”

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2. Break down your plan into achievable steps

Now that you’ve established your current and future locations, it’s time to map out a plan.

Write down several long and short term goals that are achievable and measurable.

You could measure them in milestones, earnings, rankings, the works. Think about areas you have to improve, how to achieve these goals and write them down. You could have something like “I need to acquire unique certifications to boost my CV and develop more transferable skills”

Now write down viable means to achieve these career goals. Think of how you mean to achieve these goals. In addition to focusing on how you’ll achieve a goal, think about when and where you’ll achieve it and the results you’ll see after completing it.

Here, you could think about getting a mentor in your field to advice you on which certifications to take, and skills to expand on.

Also, you need to figure out what barriers you might come across and how to defeat them. Say you cannot fund the courses you need, you could consider looking at funded scholarships and financial aid. 

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You can also get someone knowledgeable enough in your field to mentor you. you could look at an organisation like Mentor Africa Foundation that has been created to militate against issues like this.

Life is going to happen to your plans. Be prepared. So you could write something like; “Will dedicate a few hours a week to sourcing for scholarships and applying to them”

3. Evaluation

You’ve figured out a plan on how to scale your career, but you need to make sure you can measure your progress each step of the way. First, you need to device a means of measuring your success. Here, it could be increasing your marketing network.

Also, you need to give each step an achievement timeline. Start with your short term goals then move on to your long term goals. You want to create a roadmap to achievable success with milestones like finding treasure chests in an adventure video game.

You can do this by;

  • Writing down a goal you can achieve in a few weeks or months, clearly stating out how to get it done, the possible barriers and how to overcome them with a clear timeline, and how to evaluate your success.
  • Increase the stakes. Move to more difficult goals and apply the same process.

Remember to acknowledge and write down your career milestones. These could range from certifications to awards, promotions etc, that would improve your career.

Also, know that these plans you’ve made are not permanently set in stone. You can adjust them as you go because frankly, life happens. Make sure your plan is somewhere you can revisit for personal check-ins and adjustments.


Establish your overall career goals by breaking it into smaller achievable ones, figure out how to crush them and evaluate.

We have more resources available for your career advancement, so get acquainted with our other articles and share on your socials, you never know who could need them.

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