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4 step career plan example

Career planning is an ongoing process that can help you manage your learning and development. You can use the four step career plan example shown below whether you are:

  • at school.
  • an adult adding on skills.
  • an adult changing your job or career.

Career plan example

Part 1: Self-assessment

The first step in planning your career is evaluating and understanding your aspirations, skills, interests, values and other influences. For an objective assessment, seek guidance from others such as a friend, manager or colleague as well. Through your self-assessment, you may identify skills you need to acquire or areas of knowledge you wish to develop.

Part 2: Explore possibilities

Research the development options and career pathways that are open and attractive to you.

Part 3: Develop a plan

Consider the suitability of each option and decide which one is the best match to your aspirations. Based on the choices you have made, and the development opportunities you have identified, write your career goal(s) and what is required to achieve each goal. Aim to make each goal as specific as you can.

Part 4: Make it happen

To achieve your goals you need to have a course of action, with a clear understanding of what steps you will be taking, the commitment needed and relevant timeframes.

Career planning process


  • What are your aspirations?
  • What are your skills?
  • What are your interests?
  • What are your values?
  • What are you good at?
  • What have been your achievements?
  • How do others see you?

Explore possibilities

  • Explore options with current employer
  • Investigate ways to increase skills/experience
  • Research other occupations / industries
  • Explore training and further education options
  • Research trends in work/profession
  • Consider other types of employment, such as self-employment

Develop a career plan

  • Map possibilities
  • Conduct SWOT analysis
  • Consider perceived barriers/obstacles and how they can be overcome
  • Evaluate level of involvement requirement
  • Set goals and priorities
  • Incorporate into plan
  • Be flexible

Make it happen

  • Do further study or training if required
  • Explore hidden opportunities
  • Network
  • Create a job search strategy
  • Market yourself
  • Develop a resume and cover letter
  • Practise interview skills

More information

Find out more about career planning.