Career Planning

5 minute read

If you're serious about your career and want to ensure you achieve your mid to long term objectives, read on.

Unsure as to where your Career is going?

So, when was the last time you really sat down, other than a scheduled review with your boss and reviewed to what extent you are meeting your career goals, objectives, intentions and aspirations? If as we expect it's more than a few months, then we suggest you start off this process by downloading the career checklist to evaluate the here and now. You can download it here.

Your career is a very personal journey and to increase your chances of achieving what you want from it both in the short and long term  over what could be 40 years plus you have to be very single minded, determined and focused in your thinking and approach.

So how do you do this?

One of the first things is to develop a Career Plan for yourself


What is a Career Plan?

A career plan is essential we believe for everyone in work at whatever stage of their journey and is in essence a  strategy document that allows you to

1. Determine where you are now

2. Where you want to get to 

3. How and when you want to get there

4. What steps you need to put in place to achieve it along the way.

In reality it's a bit like a personal business plan. Importantly, it must of course be realistic and achievable for you.

it's an ever changing feast and you will need to regularly revisit it to see whether you are on track, ahead of it or behind it and to vary it accordingly.


Why have a Career Plan?


Career Planning 2

As stated above Career planning is a great way to ensure your career is going in an upward trajectory, whatever bumps in the road you may encounter along the way and undoubtedly there will be bumps!

Changes of ownership, management, restructures, redundancies over a career lifetime will impact the majority of us so having the plan allows us to remain focused, take stock and stay on track and in  control of our own destiny.

As the old saying goes, "Failing to plan, is planning to fail" and its never truer than with your career.


Download the Leeds Salary Guide


How to Develop & Manage Your Career Plan?


There are 5 stages in the process for you to consider.


1. Self Evaluation: Where Am I At Now :-

Firstly you need to appraise yourself and consider where you are NOW in your career

Honestly assess and appraise the following:

  • hard skills
  • soft skills
  • technical abilities
  • strengths
  • weaknesses
  • qualifications
  • interests
  • value sets.
    and how each of these contribute individually and collectively to where you are at.


2. Your Goal:  Where Do I Want To Be:-

My Goals

It is very difficult, infact impossible,for anyone at the start of their career to try and predict where they want to be at the end of their career, so we would recommend splitting it down into shorter periods. Maybe 3 to 5 years at the start of your career with 5 to 10 years when you are established in your career. All of them should lead to an established/achieved goal at the end of the set time period.


3. Commit it To Paper

There is a psychological proof that committing your thoughts to paper/print, makes them feel more real and you more accountable for them so this is the next stage of your Career plan.

To help you we have produced a template with Guidance Notes for completion further down.

As outlined it is very personal to you so should be adapted accordingly.

It doesn't need to be war and peace it just needs to work and help produce the results for you.


4. Action

Once you have committed to a plan, it's time to set about making it happen and ensuring you are hitting the stepping stones you've put in at regular interview.


5. Review

Regular review is essential. It's important to ensure at regular intervals, we would say monthly to record what you have learned , how it has benefited or impacted you and how you can use that going forward within your plan to ensure you are making progress towards your next review point. This will also aid your motivation.


The Career Plan Template

Why not download our Career Planning Template and guidance notes to assist you with the process.

Get a copy of it here


How Can We Help?

With almost 30 years experience in the market in the North of England, we have helped many candidates develop their careers over the years by assessing their strengths and goals. Feel free to contact us and have a consultation with one of our experienced consultants.


About the Author: Mark Woffenden

Mark Woffenden is a Director at Lucy Walker Recruitment and has an extensive knowledge of the issues and workings of the West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester Commercial markets developed over the last 20 years in the Industry