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Personal development planning for engineering
Personal development planning for engineering

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3.3 Your career action plans

By this point, you've looked at where you are now and where you want to go. Now you are in a stronger position to develop or update your career development plan, which details how you aim to get there. This will involve organising and summarising much of the information that you have gathered during your work on this course into a set of action plans. Remember that you are being asked to engage in career development planning for a particular purpose within the context of this course – it doesn't need to fit with your current job or role.

Sorting out how you can go about achieving your career and personal goals may appear daunting. However, a good way to approach a large task is to devise an action plan that breaks it down into smaller chunks that are easier to handle – there's an example in Figure 7. If you take the goals you identified in Activity 9, you should be able to produce an action plan for each one. There are four factors to consider when drawing up your action plan:

  1. what you need to do
  2. how you are going to take action
  3. resources that could help you (e.g. finance, information, friends)
  4. when these resources will be available to you.
Described image
Figure 7 Example action plan

Your action plan should also relate to the SWOT analysis you did in Activity 8 and the mission statement you put together in Activity 10. Try to view your action plans as the end product of all the recording, reviewing and reflection you've done throughout the career development process. But remember, in another sense the action plans you produce are simply a link in the chain; they have to be reviewed and, depending on the progress you've made and any changes in your circumstances, the action plans may have to change to accommodate revised aptitudes, interests, goals and values. For the purpose of this course, we have used the generic term of learning log; however, in the future, it doesn't really matter how you record and store the information, evidence and reflection accumulated in the career development planning process – as long as it is orderly and easily accessible. The important thing is to make sure that you go through each stage of the process on a regular basis.

In the final activity of this course, you will develop or update your career development plan.

Activity 12

Aim of this activity:

  • to produce detailed career action plans.

Using the example in Figure 7 as a basis, create an action plan for at least one of the goals you identified in Activity 9.