The Essence of a Career Plan


In the course of life, every human bears a dream in mind and envisions certain accomplishments before or during certain stages. These dreams and vison turn into goals wanted to be met or accomplished. These goals do not just come into reality without performance of certain actions at specific times and places aimed at bringing such goals into manifestation. The act which involves the mapping out of actions to be done at certain time and place with the view of certain accomplishments is career planning.

Career is a word that bears different meanings to different people. Some individuals view it simply as the pursuit of a certain profession like a lawyer in the legal field, a doctor in the medical space etc. Some others view career as the aspect of their life where they become independent and earn income. Whatever career may be, it is however certain that career encompasses the general course of progression of one’s working life which goes from education to professional and personal achievements.

Deciding a career in this part of the world has not posed a problem but however the absence of a plan in the pursuit of the career has posed a greater bane. A typical example would be in the medical field, it would be easy for a person he or she intends to study medicine, however where the problems begins to surface is after the medical school where the person begins to contemplate whether or not he remains as a doctor or proceed to become a consultant or even go into academics, problems such as these would not exist if the person already has a career plan.

Career planning is a proper and honest assessment of your skills, talent and interest and devising a strategy that allows you set career goals based on the assessment and putting in place actions aimed at aiding you reach your goals.

Career planning helps you discover the requirements needed to achieve your aim and discover the necessary skills needed to do so. This act also ensures when you are ready to develop your resume, you will have better understanding of your skills and experiences to discuss with potential employers.

Career plan covers both long-term goals as well as short-term goals and the necessary requirements needed to achieve term. As a student, a career plan helps you determine the extracurricular activities, research and type of internship needed to make you valuable in the labour market.
Career planning is an activity that has to be done on a regular basis, it is never too early to have a career plan centered on your goals, and it’s never too late to create one. An average worker is prone to career changes multiple times in his or her lifetime, hence the need of a current plan dynamic as the career changes.

An effective career plan bears several features, a few include:


  • An honest self-examination:

This basically involves an assessment of one’s personal skills, abilities and experience, this will not only help you figure out what career suits you, it will also help you understand what career path suits you. In cases where you have difficulties discovering what talents you have, consultations with colleagues with whom you work in close relation with would help, their opinions and ideas about you would help you discover activities you enjoy doing or jobs you do effortlessly. Career planning also offers you time to discover hobbies which you can make a career out of, it might sound unconventional, to examine your hobbies during career planning but it’s not. Alicia Malone made a career out of a hobby of watching films and sharing her ideas about them, now she does her dream job of recommending movies and interviewing directors. An honest self-examination indicates your weaknesses and strength and how to tackle them.


  • Setting Goal:

Goals include achievements aimed at after a series of actions. Goals are meant to be specific targets intended to be met at the end of effort. However in arriving at the big picture, there are smaller goals that must be achieved in an order, you cannot become a lawyer without having a goal of studying law in a university, you can become a world athlete without having targets you meet every day to shape you. A long-term is not achievable without the accomplishment of certain short term goals. As progress is made, review and adjusting of these goals is also fundamental. Also developing new goals once you accomplish your previous goals is necessary. Your goals should have a 50% percent or greater chance of success, which implies it should be attainable. Your goals should be time bound, this could short-term goals to be achieved in a year or less and long term goals which could span over a year to ten years.


  • Keep checking Back:

A career plan is just the first step towards career development and not a one stop solution. To ensure your goals are current with your level, it is essential to keep checking and reviewing your career planner or diary. This would help you track your progress. It also helps you determine steps necessary at every stage. It could help you change your path after realizing it was not quite right for you. Regular review ensures you always act in line with your goals even in your little decisions. A career mentor is also essential in the process of review, he examines and gives advice in stages beyond your knowledge.

A career plan can be made anytime and by anyone, you don’t have to be a graduate neither be in the working class to have a working career plan. Students are also encouraged to have career plans as it would help them tick off certain requirements and skills needed at the labour market at an early stage and give them an edge over their peers. Career plans are not only restricted to professional courses, business entrepreneurs, politicians can also have career plans to navigate through their desired course of life.


Written by,

Esan Sunday Tolulope Richmond,

Content Provider, Legal Pages.

Obafemi Awolowo University.