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Personal development planning for engineering
Personal development planning for engineering

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3 Identifying your career goals ('Where do I want to go and how will I get there?')

In the previous section you spent a lot of time taking stock of your current situation, i.e. where you are now. In this section you'll receive advice and guidance designed to help you identify your future career goals, i.e. where you want to go. You already made a start at answering this question in Activity 3, in which you wrote down where you wanted to get to as an engineer. However, now it's time to broaden this focus to take in how your engineering career relates to other aspects of your life. This will allow you to come up with some more specific career goals, as well as other long- and short-term personal goals that are related in some way to your career.

In order to identify these goals, you have to consider carefully what you want out of life and work – and where the balance between the two lies for you. This kind of judgement is a snapshot that will change as your circumstances change – a fact that highlights the need to revisit and review your personal development plan on a regular basis. Below is an example of a completed wish list that identifies a set of my long- and short-term goals at a particular stage in my life.

What would I like to achieve in the long term?

  • Financial security for my family
  • An interesting career within a stimulating working environment
  • Be a senior manager by 45 or involved in my own business
  • My children happily settled
  • Time to enjoy life.

What would I like to achieve in the short term?

  • A degree
  • An MEng
  • Professional registration
  • Promotion into management.

Even if you have already planned a career path, it is still worth asking yourself these kinds of questions. The next activity will help you to define more clearly what it is that you really want.

Activity 9

Aim of this activity:

  • to clarify in your mind what you really want in the long and short term.

Referring to the example above, complete your own wish list in your learning log that identifies your long- and short-term goals. You may want to take your answer to Activity 3 as a starting point.