Mapping your path forward: How to develop a career plan

Are you growing tired of your current job? Are you looking for a career change?

Changing careers isn’t easy, so it is essential to be prepared.

A career plan can help you move from your current position to your ultimate career goals. It allows you to take the action needed to achieve these goals. But how do you create a career plan?

Indeed and Seek provide tips on how to create an effective career plan.

There are several self-assessment tests you can perform to help you decide on a career path.

Self-assessment tests you can perform

Aptitude test

An aptitude test assesses your strengths and abilities.

It can help you decide whether you need more education and training and whether you want to spend the time, energy and resources on a new career path.


Personality tests

A personality test can help you determine the careers that would suit you. People with certain personalities often enjoy certain careers.


Interest test

An interest test collects your likes and dislikes regarding various objects, people and activities.


Values test

Taking a values test will help you learn more about yourself and answer questions like

What salary do you want? Do you prefer to work with others or alone? How important to you is prestige? How much do you want to help society?


If you are considering changing careers, consider talking to a career counsellor.


Explore careers

Look for an expert in an industry you are interested in

Ask them how they got where they are. Listen to them talk about the realities of the career.


Conduct an informational interview

Consider asking a professional in your desired field for an informational interview. An informational interview is an informal conversation between a professional and a job seeker looking to work in a similar position. It is an excellent way to gain firsthand information on the realities of working in a position. It is also beneficial for getting tips and insider knowledge.


You can also consider volunteering at an organisation you may be interested in working for or shadowing a professional in an industry that interests you. If you are studying, internships can also provide great insights into potential career paths.


Consider your options

Before committing to a potential career path, it is important to ask yourself questions like:

What will my salary be?

Will I enjoy the work?

Will I need to relocate, and am I prepared to do this?


Create action plan

Once you have an idea of the type of career you would be interested in, it’s time to create an action plan. Consider what short and long-term goals you must achieve to get where you want to be. Don’t forget to consider the challenges you will encounter in achieving these goals, whether they be financial, educational or personal.


Begin your Job Search

Next, begin your job search by determining roles and companies you are interested in. Compare the requirements of these positions to your career plan to see if any tweaks are needed.


Other Tips


Dream big and small

It’s great to have a lofty career goal to aim towards but realise you won’t get there overnight. Therefore, set yourself a series of smaller goals as well.


Be prepared to be flexible

Circumstances change all the time, so your career plan must be flexible.

Don’t be in a rush to increase salary, instead focus on skills you need to develop.



It is essential to review your career plan regularly.


Deciding on potential careers isn’t easy.

If you are unsure where to go next in your career, Public Service Resumes offers Career Development Coaching