Every professional needs to have a plan in place for their personal Career Management and Development Plan. The old saying, "Plan your Work and Work your Plan", is so very important when it comes to your own career. Don't leave things to chance when so much is at stake. Whether you are looking for the right career choice or are already working in your desired field it is critical to look down the road so that you make the right decisions and not let circumstance make those decisions for you.
One of the first things you should be doing when putting your Career Management and Development Plan into place is creating your resume. Now I'm not talking about just throwing the typical resume together and having that mass produced for every position you wish to apply for! No I'm talking about truly understanding your own personal professional background and how it relates to each and every position you apply for. This means that you need to research yourself and put together your life experiences, whether educational or personal, that lend themselves to your career choice. Take an inventory of your life and start with making notes about your accomplishments. Then move on to all your educational experiences, whether formal or informal. Keeping going from the earliest you can remember keeping a timeline. Now all this will not go into your resume; however, your resume will be designed around each and every individual position you apply for.
Another important part of your Career Management and Development Plan is to research the career field you are wishing to go into! Who are the leaders in that field? Get to know and understand their path and what makes them exceptional at their jobs! What schools and/or training did they complete? What type of personality do they possess? What is their personal life like? Get to know them very well so that you can see what it may take for you to achieve the same.
Step three in your Career Management and Development Plan is to learn as much about the Companies that employ individuals with your Career path! Get to know those companies and what makes them successful! Dig deep into their history and find out everything you can so that you reference anything significant during an interview. Just remember knowledge is power! The more you know the better off you will be able to use that information to your advantage. Now lam not talking about researching only those companies you wish to work for, but every company that utilizes someone with your career path!
Finally, you need to find a mentor that has your same career path! Preferably it will be someone that has more experience that you can draw upon. Remember a mentor is not a teacher but someone to help guide you to where you need to go! This means a good listener and someone that can be brutally honest with you. You don't want someone that will just agree with everything you are doing, but someone that will give you the truth. This may be the hardest part of your Career Management and Development Plan. A mentor is a valuable part of your development and don't settle for just anyone. It will be one of the best moves you can make toward achieving your goals.
Good Luck and May God Bless You!