Why You Need A Career Development Plan Now
Great careers don’t happen by accident. Truly satisfying careers are the reward of talent, hard work, a bit of luck, and a strategy carefully managed and put to work.
1. A career development plan will keep you from getting stuck in a rut
The days of being promoted at work solely based on tenure are long gone. If you allow yourself to grow comfortable performing only the tasks you were trained to do when you were hired, then you might as well make up your mind to be overworked and underpaid for the rest of your working life.
There are all types of people who get stuck in a rut at work. The one thing they all have in common is that they’ve taken their professional development for granted. Don’t be one of those people.
2. A career development plan will help you take responsibility for your weaknesses
Whether or not we’d like to admit it, everyone around us knows exactly how well or how poorly we’re doing at work. All the little foibles we’ve quietly and conveniently minimized in our own minds are well-known by our colleagues.
Sure you get away with it now, but you’re not fooling anyone. No matter how sweet and well-liked you are, not addressing those little quirks now may mean career suicide later on. You could cross the wrong person, and they might throw you under the bus in retaliation. The management might change. The company could start cracking down on inefficiency. Without notice, your minor shortcomings could suddenly be looked as major areas of underperformance.
3. A career development plan will help define your future career path
Socrates said, the unexamined life is not worth living. I say that the unplanned career is not worth having.
In the little book “The Go-Giver”, Bob Burg presents three universal reasons why we work: survive, save, and serve. Survival and saving have to do with meeting our basic needs and having some time and money left over to enjoy life. Service has to do with making a meaningful contribution to the world around us. Most people get stuck on the first two stages, but never figure out a way to reach a place of purpose in their work.
4. A career development plan will help you to take charge of your own advancement
Carving out the time, and drumming up the discipline it takes to craft a career development plan for you will forces us to be accountable. Instead of blaming external forces for every negative turn that occurs at work, we begin to take responsibility for our own actions and reactions.
Creating a career development plan will put the power back into your own hands.
5. A career development plan will give you the confidence you need to succeed.
A career development plan will give you ownership over all aspects of your career.
You will begin to know your strengths and weaknesses inside out. You will decide on meaningful targets and set realistic plans to meet them. You will know what you want to accomplish, and how far you’ve already come. You will find yourself going to work each day with a sense of purpose. New motivation for your work will seem to grow out of nowhere.