What is a Career Action Plan?: Full Guide

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A career action plan is a personalized plan you make to set your career goals. You can build one as you start your career, or you could write one as you approach retirement. Any time you make a career change, it is essential that you formulate a new strategy. Since it is personalized, there is no right or wrong way to construct a career action plan.

A career action plan helps you to set specific career goals and develop a vision of where you want to be, whether it is five or ten years into your career or at your retirement, at a particular stage in your life. The strategy helps you to analyze your limitations and strengths so that you can work on them.

It also helps you to assess prospects for career development as they become open to you. Simultaneously, there is enough flexibility in a career action plan that you can change your goals and deadlines as appropriate. You can start to construct your career action plan by taking the following steps below:

career action plan


Self-assessment is the very first step to formulating your career action plan. Being truthful with yourself is vital, but not too crucial. While assessing yourself, you should answer the following questions:

  • What attributes do you have?
  • What are your limitations?
  •  What do you enjoy doing?
  • What does your employment and internship background look like?
  • Are your courses and your major preparing you for excellence after graduation?

You will better understand what you have left to do to get your first internship or secure your dream job when you have a good understanding of what you value, what you are amazing at and where you are in terms of academics.

Action plan

  • Compose your resume (if you have not already). You will be able to understand what difference exists in your experience and education by seeing your resume experience on paper.
  • Schedule an appointment with your career accelerator consultant. Speak about the outcomes of your self-assessment operation with them.
  • Ensure that your courses are aligned with your career objectives and that you do not leave any holes. Your advisor can assist you in developing your resume or CV.

Creating a list of future occupations

Start listing career opportunities that concern you once you have a clear idea of who you are and where you stand. Start wide and work the way down. Do not overthink about including every possible choice or adding options that are just ‘maybe.’ After studying them; there could be some options that you were not so certain about before that may look better later.

Action plan

  • Browse campus events to learn about potential networking opportunities with businesses in your industry
  • Enter student clubs and groups that fit with the interests of your profession. A perfect way to meet other students and future employers is to engage in a club.
  • Network in your chosen area with professionals and invite them to meet for coffee or lunch. Ask about the steps that you should take to be successful.

Do your investigation and narrow down your options

You should now have a list of options for your career and some general information about yourself. Start prioritizing, comparing, and taking into account variables such as job accessibility, obsolescence, and many more. Narrow your choices down to a shorter list of possible careers.

Action plan

  • Set up a profile on LinkedIn (if you do not have one already). Keep your profile up to date, which includes work placements and volunteering, with relevant experience.
  • Join Slack, Facebook, and other groups related to your career goals. Pursue discussions and gain some insight into what the day-to-day appears like.
  • Attend MeetUps and other career-oriented networking events. These are great places to meet individuals who do what you want to do and ask questions about them.

Establish and stick to career goals

Now that you have a candid self-assessment and a shortlist of possible careers, the next step is to determine how to get from where you are to where you’d like to be. Creating career goals is the best way to do this. The questions below should be answered while you figure out what your next step is:

  • What moves will you take in order to achieve your career goals?
  • How long does it take for your career targets to be achieved?

See also – A Step-by-step Guide to Setting Career Goals

Action plan

  • Develop new, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound goals. Write them down on paper and break down your long-term goals into the smallest possible steps.
  • Gather all the elements of your career action plan, your self-assessment, your career goals, and your plan to achieve your career goal, and then meet your career consultant again. Present your action plan this time and make sure you have not omitted anything.
  • Apply for internships and volunteer positions to acquire experience.

Additional career action plan tips 

  • Do not be afraid of crossing your list of potential careers with alternatives. The best time to find out why you don’t like a career or an occupation is now.
  • Be flexible. It’s all right to make adjustments as you go or even start over.
  • Meet periodically with your career counselor or visit your career accelerator rep as circumstances change and when you need guidance. They have experience in helping to make career-oriented decisions for students.
  • Keep an eye on your campus career and internship boards and explore any other ways to learn and gain experience. Tell people and share that you are searching for opportunities on social media. Trying out a career first is an excellent way to determine what you want to do with your life.

Assess the skills you have when you prepare your career action plan and determine if there are skills you need to master in your career to progress. When you have tested your skills, identify your goals. Each target should include a measurable result and a timeframe so that your strategy’s progress can be measured.

In your career action plan, write at least one action move for each purpose. This is where you state how you are aiming to achieve your objective. If one of your goals is to take advanced courses in preparation for a promotion, enrolling in the courses and completing them successfully will be the action point.

You should read this and learn – Choosing a Career Path: 8 Easy Tips


How to create your career action plan in 4 easy steps – Shorelight

What is a career action plan? – careertrend

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