It’s strange that for one of the most prominent activities in adult life (work), so few people actively plan where they want their career to head. For anything else, whether it’s a party, a social event or a project at work – in most instances, we’d expect people to create a to-do list, an activity tracker or a plan of some sorts. Yet when it comes to careers, so many people choose not to document their career plans. And it’s our belief that this can disadvantage you, so we’re here to recommend career planning.

What does career planning mean?

In our view career planning involves sitting down and actively mapping out where you are in your career right now, and where you want to get to. We recommend being realistic, but clearly mapping out the route you think you’ll need to take, the timescales you expect to work to, and what you’ll need to accomplish along the way.  And by ‘mapping out’ we mean documenting your plans, writing it down, putting it against a timeline and giving yourself realistic expectations of what you can achieve. If you know you need to take on additional responsibilities, carry out further training, gain experience in other sectors or professional disciplines… think about how you’re going to achieve all of this.

10 quick tips to get started with career planning

  1. Document your career plan
  2. Develop clear milestones
  3. Use a timeline
  4. Think about your training and development needs
  5. Regularly review and refine your plan – at least annually, possibly more frequently
  6. Discuss your career aspirations with a trusted recruitment partner
  7. Be realistic about what you can achieve and in what timeframe
  8. If you deviate from the plan, consider why and revise the plan where appropriate
  9. Consider whether your current employer can help you achieve your plan’s goals
  10. Stay positive, having a plan is a significant step towards taking control of your career plans.

Talk to us

Understanding a typical career path is often the first stage in the process. So that’s where expert advice from sector-specific recruitment specialists, like our professional services consultants, can be an invaluable resource to tap into. We’ve seen the typical routes many of our candidates have taken and are regularly involved in discussions regarding promotions and career aspirations, so over time we’ve developed a really good understanding that we’re happy to share. So, talk to us if you want to get a good understanding about how your career path could develop.