When it comes to creating a career plan for your future, it can be helpful to do a self-assessment and consider important factors. For instance, let’s say you’re interested in an eLearning career. What will the eLearning industry look like in five years? Is the current state of the industry growing? What kinds of skills will be required to perform at a high level commensurate with your salary expectations?

Steps to Drafting a Career Plan

Identify Goals

Firstly in drafting a career plan, figure out what makes you tick, what makes you want to get out of bed in the morning. Certainly, the planning stages is where you want to take those bold steps toward something you really want to do. Connect your steps with your innermost desires so everything works in sync. Secondly, ask yourself with what kind of company do you want to work? For whom do you want to work? What kind of salary do you expect to be earning? Having a clear image of these answers will allow you to chart your course and take appropriate actions to get there.

Analyze Current Skills

Analyze your professional resume and determine whether you have the skills currently or need to build them. Don’t rush this part. Essentially, think like an employer. As you scan your professional achievements to date, are they in alignment with your goal? Are you lacking in certain areas? Would you be a more attractive candidate if you worked on a few areas first? Do you need more education? More experience? Lastly, is there an opportunity to advance your skills?

Determine Your Strengths and Desires

Do your strengths and desires match the industry? Is there room for personal and professional development and improvement? Do your strengths match the day-to-day functions required to perform at high-capacity? Do you have the opportunity to reach beyond your comfort zone and to expand your mind and skill sets farther than the competition?

Commit to a Plan

If you’re not where you want to be yet, keep moving forward. Use this time wisely by getting out there to network and talking with people who are doing what you want to do and are doing it well. Furthermore, aim to do work that helps you become the best version of yourself. If you know you want to be in a certain place in your career five years from now, what are you doing to make that happen? Leaving it up to luck will not work effectively. You must analyze the market, understand the strengths and weaknesses of it, and decide on how best to utilize your resources and knowledge to place yourself on the path you wish to be traveling.

Finally, remember this: You have the power to write your own story. You just have to pick up the proverbial pen and get to it! If part of your goal is to increase your knowledge base and credentials, UMBC’s Office of Professional Studies has a variety of Master’s and Certificate Programs to help you achieve that.



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