Improve Your Career Action Plan

A career action plan is a road map that can help you reach your short-term and long-term goals. After you have completed a self-assessment, researched career options, and decided on a career path, the next step is to take action.

Here’s how to start:

Set “SMART” goals:

  • Specific–identify your goal clearly and specifically
  • Measureable–Include clear criteria to determine progress and accomplishment
  • Attainable–the goal should have a 50 percent or greater chance of success
  • Relevant–the goal is important and relevant to you
  • Timebound–commit to a specific timeframe

Break Your Goals into Groups

  • Short-term goals: achieve in one year or less.
  • Long-term goals: achieve in one to five years.

Create a Career Action Plan

  • Write down your action steps so you can check them off as you complete them.
  • Note any actions that need to be completed to help you reach your goals. Prioritize the actions according to deadlines and importance whether your goal is to search for a job,an internship, or to apply to graduate school.
  • Be realistic about expectations and timelines. Don’t try to take on more than you can reasonably manage.
  • Be specific and do your homework. Understand exactly what steps will be required to achieve each goal.

Barriers You May Face

  • List barriers that you think could be a challenge and find solutions.

Keep Moving, Celebrate Success, and Amend

  • Above all, keep taking steps, even if they are sometimes small.
  • Reward yourself as you complete the steps.
  • Amend your career action plan as needed if your goals and priorities change.

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