Managing your career – Be in charge!
1.1 Purpose of this article
This post will act as a guideline to prepare a Career Development Plan (CDP) and is part of personal career management and planning.
2. What is CDP?
2.1 Brief Outline
The CDP helps to develop an individual map for career progression. The idea is to have more controlled and measured approach towards one’s learning and career development. The organisation may follow it’s own appraisal process. But, you are the owner of your career. The CDP can be a simple word document prepared by you with the mentorship of his or her manager.
The CDP is developed at the beginning of the year and is reviewed by his/her manager. It is your responsibility, and your manager can act as a facilitator. You and your manager can meet up at regular intervals during the year to take a checkpoint on the development and take corrective/progressive measures appropriately.
3. Before you start
Assess your needs. Identify your current skills, knowledge level, technical or managerial abilities, and interests.
3.2 Overall Goals
Perform a goal setting exercise to determine the new skills, the technical or managerial experience you would like to acquire in the current year.
3.3 Purpose and Objectives
It would be fruitful to do a gap analysis as a first step to bridging the gap between the current situation and desired outcome. This would generate more insight into the purpose and objectives of this exercise.
4. What should one include in the plan?
4.1 Long Range Goals
This section can contain goals that you would like to achieve in the next 4 to 5 years timeline.
4.2 Intermediate Career Goals
This section can include goals that you would like to accomplish in the next 1 to 2 years schedule.
4.3 Annual Goals to Leverage Strengths
How can you apply your strengths to enhance your career? E.g. conduct training, publish articles.
4.4 Annual Goals for Learning and Knowledge development
Training courses and workshops that you plan to take up to address the development needs
4.5 Annual Goals for Organizational Activities
Plan for involvement in activities like recruitment, mentoring, etc
5. Review & Validate
5.1 Initial Feedback & Revision
Once the CDP has been prepared, you can get it reviewed by your manager to validate it in accordance with your current career level and to align with the organizational goals. The goals that you set for yourself need to be SMART – Smart, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
6. Measure and Track
Progress is monitored against expectations on a quarterly basis. Techniques to measure different goals can be a part of the CDP.
Based on the discussion with the employee, the manager can prepare a report of:
• Performance against goals
• Skills developed
• Knowledge gained
• Technical or Managerial abilities acquired
6.3 Feedback and Revision
Based on the feedback and results in steps above the manager can give appropriate feedback to the employee with some insightful recommendations.
6.4 Next Steps
Once the employee has agreed upon the feedback, he/she can update the CDP for the next cycle.