How to write a good career plan

A career plan is a fantastic tool for getting what you want out of your working life. But figuring out how to write a good career plan isn’t always easy.

If you want to work your way into your ideal IT, engineering, or manufacturing job role though, making a career plan is the best place to start.

Here’s everything you need to know about making sure your plan works for you.

What’s in a career plan?

1) Decisions decisions

Deciding on your goals and laying out how you’ll meet them in black and white is the basis for a good career plan. The easiest way to make these decisions is to start by making lists of criteria like:

  • The things you want from your job
  • The bits you like from your current role
  • Things you would do more of, given the chance

Then, next time you’re considering a career move, you can consult your lists to see if it meets your criteria.

For instance, if you’re a data engineer and you’re really interested in working more with big data, it might be a mistake to apply for a new management role as Head of Data at a firm (unless you want to manage people too).

2) Shorter-term goals

A well-written career plan is largely a tool for self-reflection. What do you really want from your career? What is the next small step you can take to advance?

  • More hands-on work from your manufacturing job, perhaps a shift towards being a maintenance engineer?
  • More responsibility from your software developer job, maybe looking for a team leader or management role, aiming for the c-suite one day?
  • More customer-facing work from your engineering job, possibly moving into being a sales engineer, really doubling down on your natural communication skills?

As long as you define the key elements you actually want from your job, you can set short and long-term goals and make sure every move you make is aimed towards achieving them.

3) A tailored CV

As you progress through your career plan (and your career), you’ll need to take your CV with you. This means making smart updates that take into account the person you are and the person your career plan says you want to be.

Use a job description of the kind of role you want at each stage of your plan and see if you can adapt your CV to match it. You should also tailor your CV to each individual role you apply for.

If you’re missing key skills to achieve your next career step, it’s time to think about how to acquire them.

4) Regular updates

As a specialist manufacturing, IT, and engineering recruitment company, Ernest Gordon works with industries that are never static. This means we know how important it is to keep your career plan and your CV up-to-date.

Don’t just write your plan once and forget about it. Any day at work could bring a realisation that you want more of this in your life or less of that.

Keep updating your plan and next time you’re ready to make a move, you’ll have lots of information to base your career decisions on.

5) A little help

If you’re not sure how to get what you want from your career, working with the right recruitment agency is an easy way to get a little help.

Working with a specialist in your industry is always the way to go. For example, Ernest Gordon regularly helps candidates find the jobs that are right for them because of our long experience with and connections in the manufacturing, engineering, and IT sectors.

If you want to understand what companies want from the people they’re hiring, to know how to promote yourself properly with your CV, or how to do better at interview, there’s no better place to start.

Ready to take the next step in your career?

Let’s talk. Ernest Gordon helps people find the position that advances their career in the direction they’ve planned every day.

Tell us what you’re looking for today. We’ll get started finding you the right role.