Why it is important to have a career plan

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Why it is important to have a career plan

BY Skillset 04 May, 2021

Developing and continually updating a career plan is key to achieving the career you want. A career plan will help you work out the direction you want to take, and what you need to do, to ensure you are engaged in meaningful work that meets your career goals.

This article explains what a career plan is and why it is an essential tool for every person throughout their working life.

What is a career plan?

A career plan is a written document which details:

  • Your career interests – including short term and long term career goals
  • Your strengths, skills, personality and experience, and the alignment of these with jobs you are interested in
  • An assessment of the qualifications, experience and skills you will need to get your chosen job
  • A review of the current and future labour market, as well as the types of jobs that are in demand.

It is important to write your career plan down, rather than having it in your head. Having a written career plan can provide the following benefits:

  • It will make it easier to understand and achieve the key steps required to get your chosen job
  • It builds confidence as it reminds you of what you are good at
  • You can refer back to it over time to check on your progress
  • You can modify it or change it entirely as new opportunities surface or you learn more about your chosen career.

Do I really need a career plan?

Yes – a career plan is a valuable tool from the beginning of your working life and into the future. It will assist you in negotiating the myriad of changes that are likely to confront you during your working life, such as:

  • One life – multiple careers: ‘A job for life’ has disappeared. According to McCrindle Research, the Australian national average job tenure is 3.3 years. This means that a school leaver today is likely to have 17 different employers and 5 different careers during their working lifetime! In this new environment, workers will no longer be able to depend on one set of education and training at the beginning of their careers. Instead they will have to commit to lifelong learning, where they continually improve and update their skills. Having and implementing an established career plan, and updating it over time, will ensure you stay on top of skills desired by employers and the career paths you can take.
  • The world of work is changing: The world of work has transformed and is characterised by uncertainty. Covid-19 and global technological developments have diminished demand for certain careers and increased demand for others. To ensure you can adapt to these changes, it is necessary to have a career plan that can be modified according to circumstances that arise and which highlights your strengths and experiences that can be utilised in new and emerging fields.

Next steps

Are you ready to develop your career plan? The next steps are:

  • Visit websites with information about career planning. The National Careers Institute has a My Individual Pathway Plan that can assist you in developing a career blueprint for the future
  • Contact a careers adviser who can assist you with developing your career plan.

If you live in the Central West of NSW, contact Skillset as we can help you with:

  • Career planning and transition advice
  • Government-funded programs that provide career advice and access to local training and work opportunities
  • Skills development and training opportunities, such as apprenticeships and traineeships.


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Australia Skillset would like to acknowledge and pay respect to the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work.
We are honoured to be on the ancestral lands of those whose cultures are among the oldest living cultures in human history. We pay respect to the Elders, past, present and to the younger generation of the community who will be the future leaders in years to come.