Career Development Plan Template

Planning for career growth can be exhausting; hence, most employees and organizations use a particular diagram to identify development goals.
Career Development Plan Template

About the Career Development Plan Template

What is a career development plan?

A career development plan can be optional; however, companies should recommend this to all employees to align their development objectives and short-term growth. It is an avenue for managers and team leaders to support every employee and have a realistic view of their long-term career goals.
Suppose you are wondering what a career development plan looks like. It is basically like a written list of long and short-term goals concerning employees' current and future works. It also includes a planned sequence of informal and formal experiences to guide employees in accomplishing their goals.
As this template will assist employees in achieving their goals, the organization or company will also have a higher probability of retaining employees. This way, team members and company employees recognize that their goals are valued. They can pursue them while working in their current organization rather than finding those growth opportunities elsewhere.
Furthermore, using the career development plan template also allows employees to create realistic career growth expectations. The template includes timeframe suggestions for specific milestones like promotions and determines areas employees need to work on before becoming eligible for the next professional milestone. It is essential to note that the structure is just a plan and does not represent any career commitment to employees or the team leader or manager.

How to create a career development plan?

Whatever your career aspirations are, it is best to assess your professional situation, decide what you want to accomplish, and strategize how you will get there. You could use a diagram when planning out your career development. Also, using this template is not only for those existing employees, as this will also be helpful to those looking for a job. It guides you to strategically think of your professional future and the goals you need to achieve that vision. Later in this article, you will see how a career development plan template is used, just like writing a resume.
The structure is also called a professional development plan template which can be categorized into five steps. Check out the list below:
1. Self-assessment. Employees or team members need to evaluate first their professional interests, skills, and knowledge. A self-assessment gives them the avenue to check their current position related to the employees' career goals. Once you identify your current interests and skills, you can quickly determine which areas you can improve to achieve your goals.
2. Goals. You might want to plan your goals based on these five elements - specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. These five aspects are also called SMART goals. If you examine all the five elements, they generally have a common denominator: to have realistic goals when working this kind of template.
It may also help to structure goals by taking small steps instead of jumping to bigger ones. This way, employees will have an easier way of achieving each goal. You can categorize your goals into short and long-term ones to have a more detailed approach for every plan.
3. Strategies. Now that you have your goals set, it is time to design specific approaches. Experiential learning, exposure, education, and reflection are some of the more common ways to base your methods. However, those who create a professional development plan template typically use the experiential learning approach. This gives employees necessary hands-on experiences when developing their skills. For example, an individual who wants to build furniture could do immersions at woodwork shops as an experiential approach for learning more about furniture making.
4. Resources. Resources are avenues where you can seek professional growth. Some might provide networking opportunities, workshops, and other potential places that will help enhance one's career path. These resources may include further educational courses, webinars, joining professional networks, to name a few.
5. Timelines. Your career development plan template should not only be about goals, but also it must show growth. Hence you need to have timelines in every goal you set. This way, you can track whether the goals are achieved and if those give you growth as you achieve them over time. Timelines will also tell you if you need to update your career development plan, including strategies and goals.
3. Strategies.

Career Development Plan Examples

You can use any format for this template. You can have the traditional way of listing your goals, or you can easily use diagrams, structured tables with columns and rows, or mind maps. Every company or organization has a distinct way of creating a career development plan template. Here are some of them below:

A mind map-based career plan

The good thing about mind maps is that they effectively highlight and convey essential facts and the overall structure of a particular subject. As previously discussed on the ways to create this template, you can see from the example below that every category is clearly illustrated and described, including an individual's skills, goals, and strategies for career growth. This is a straightforward structure that offers immediate understanding even on the first read.

A 2x2 matrix-based career plan

Whether it is a 2x2 matrix, this is another straightforward template that offers a broader view of options for an employee's career development plan. This diagram will guide users in choosing activities and goals they need to prioritize and those they need to avoid if they opt to make the most of opportunities and time.
The 2x2 matrix is generally made up of four sections. The example below shows two dimensions of the template - the internal value and the market value. The internal value involves opportunities being offered to you that will help your internal reputation. The market value meanwhile describes one's options and opportunities for external reputation.
This diagram is beneficial when weighing your options for career growth. Everyone has to make daily choices, whether in life and professionally; it is best to consider things on a simple yet straightforward illustrative diagram, especially if it deals with long-term impacts.

Katie Dowdall's Career Mind Map

The example below is a very detailed diagram of a career development plan. If you look at it closely, it is kind of a resume presented through a mind map. Since mind maps are very easy to use, you can create sub-branches for each category to elaborate more on the categories. The template even emphasizes skills requirements and salary on every job indicated. You can also see that every branch has its colors. This clearly illustrates the different jobs or careers of an individual. If you wish, you can also use stickers or images to your mindmaps; however, various colors can be fine if you need to include tons of information.