You can achieve what you believe

You NEED a Career Development Plan

Job Training & Career Education
Are Key Strategies

Savvy job seekers have a career development plan that includes critical job training and career education strategies to get ahead.

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Do you aspire to a specific type of job, but you don't really have the skills? Or you lack confidence in your abilities?

Or, maybe you have the skills, but you lack credibility because you're not certified and certification is required by most employers?

Or maybe you're coming back to work after a lengthy employment gap?

It could even be that the career path you've chosen will require you to get an advanced degree through some kind of higher education.

Whatever the case may be, it's important that you have a personalized career development plan that will take you where you want to go.

In today's tough and competitive job market, employers are demanding more skills and knowledge from their employees while providing less on-the-job training. It is for this reason also that career education is now becoming more critical than ever to your future career success.

What (Exactly) Is a Career Development Plan?

A career development plan is an essential step to changing careers

One way of describing it is a plan for developing knowledge, skills and attitudes through a systematic program of learning experiences that will help you make informed decisions about study and work options that will in turn assist you in participating in the career of your choice.

Whew! That's a mouthful, isn't it? Let's simplify...

In the most basic terms, a career development plan will include:

  • Career goals
  • Researching career options
  • Needed job training & career education
  • Action steps to achieve the training & future jobs in the career

Let's look at each area in turn...

Set Specific Career Goals First

Set your career development goals

The first step in your career development plan is to figure out exactly what it is you want to do in terms of a job.

If your plan doesn't include career goals, then you might as well abandon it.

Goals help you focus, but more importantly, they give you something to shoot for... and – when written correctly – they are a ruler against which you can measure your future career success.

Learn more about career goals and career goal setting

Research Your Career Options

Some careers sound great... on paper. But when you find out what they really entail, they may lose some of their glow. So before you commit to a career, find out all you can about it. If money is a motivator for you, click here to learn about the best paid careers.

Join and Get Career Guides!

You can search the Internet, talk to other people doing the job, talk to prospective employers, or even get help from a career coach.

Or, research careers with guides like the ones offers on their site when you become a member. (Just click on the picture on the left to get started with Vault, who I highly recommend)

You might even want to check out books about different careers, such as the ones below:

As you do your research, be sure to aim at learning exactly what skills, experience, and training (or even a degree) are needed for that job.

The important thing is to get the facts, so you can make an informed decision.

Then, Investigate Job Training Options

Do you need career training?

If you need career education and training, find out what options are available to you, for example:

  • On-the-job training, through an internship or apprentice program

  • Online career training, such as classes found through

If you need more experience, talk to your employer (or a new one) about the possibility of getting an internship (even an unpaid one, if you can afford it).

If you need more college education, then take a look at...

  • Individual college classes, such as those offered by "Penn Foster Career School"

  • College degrees from your local community college (much cheaper and easier to access often times than a 4-year university)

Finally, Put Your Plan Into Motion

An old saying goes, "Even the longest journey starts with a single step." Remember that, and try not to get overwhelmed with all you need to learn.

Lay out your career development plan in step by step fashion... one action step for each task along the way. Aim high, but don't expect to get there all at once.

Learn More About Career Development & Career Change

You can click on the thumbnail images below to access other pages in our career planning and career change section of this site.

Learn how to set realistic career goalsLearn how to write a resume that will assist your career changeHow to write a cover letter to go with your career change resume
Get info on starting a freelance career to tide you overDo you have what it takes to start a work at home career?Learn how to make your dream career a reality... just like I did!
Get some ideas for working at home and making extra moneyLearn to start your own online home business in just 12 easy lessons... online!If you have questions about careers or career change, ask them here

You might also enjoy these pages...

Find out which are the best paid careers

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