Write Your Own Career Action Plan

Action planWriting a career action plan is an excellent strategy in career planning and development. There are many ways to put together a career action plan. The following guidelines provide what I think are the elements of a comprehensive career action plan.


A career action plan provides the opportunity to synthesize and document all the relevant information collected so far in your active career planning into one comprehensive, and hopefully concise, report.


1. Introduction:

  • What are your career-related goals both in the short term and long term?

2. Discussion regarding your planning:

  • How you decided on these goals (e.g., What decision-making strategy did you utilize if any?)
  • Your favorite and most helpful career-related resources (be specific)
  • Analysis of how your goals match up with who you are in terms of your interests, personality style, values, skills, attitudes, and priorities
  • Analysis of significant factors that will (or likely will) play a part in your career/life planning endeavors (e.g., finances, emotional support, etc.)
  • Any challenges or pitfalls to watch out for during the pursuit of your goals
  • A list of specific (and preferably measurable) activities that will help you reach your goals (include times frames)

3. Conclusion:

  • What did you learn about yourself that you hadn’t thought about before?
  • What do you need to do, or learn more about, to get to where you want to get to?
  • How motivated and confident are you in regards to pursuing your career goals?
  • Was creating a career action plan useful?
  • Overall, was engaging in a more systematic process of career planning valuable for you? Why or why not?

4. Share:

  • Share your career action plan with those closest to you whom you trust. Chances are you sought their support and feedback earlier in your career planning, but share what your career goals are with them to continue to receive support and input.

Below is an example of a career action plan:


1 comment for “Write Your Own Career Action Plan

  1. Chad Lake
    June 16, 2011 at 9:34 am

    The Career Action Plan is a great way to organize your goals and objectives when thinking about what kind of career you’re going to pursue. This is a comprehensive and collective gathering of all of your career related thoughts, wants, needs, and values. One must keep in mind to be honest and forthcoming with all the items highlighted in this paper, for the you are the one who will see the most value in it when it is all said and finished. =)

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