Career Counseling

Career Planning: Career Development Action Plan

The Career Development Action Plan addresses your personal and career development needs and interests in the context of departmental needs and your job. It is a tool that:

1.    Summarizes the career development information you have clarified by engaging in the exercises in each of the phases of the career development model

2.    Supplies a framework for career development conversations with your supervisor

3.    Provides a roadmap for you and your supervisor to use to create development activities that will help you enhance your knowledge, skills, and abilities


Summarize Your Self-Assessment Information and Career Development Needs

Summarize the information you clarified in the self-assessment phase of your career development exploration. This will help you communicate your strengths, interests, preferences, and values to your supervisor, as well as your skill development needs.

Talk with Your Supervisor

Completing a CDAP is a joint effort between you and your supervisor. Share the summary of your self-assessment clarification and ask for feedback from your supervisor about your strengths and areas for development. Your supervisor should be able to enhance your understanding and awareness of the organization's needs, technology changes, expected turnover, program plans, etc.

Set Career Goals

Considering the information you have clarified and the awareness you have gained from your conversation(s) with your supervisor, think about your current position and the positions to which you aspire. With your supervisor, decide on the short-term (1 year) and medium-term (2-5 years) goals that are the best fit for you, your position, and the organization. You can also discuss your long-range (5+ years) career goals and how you can work towards those goals within your current job.

Create Roadmap for Development Activities

Using your career goals as guides, identify the skills and competencies that you need to develop. Together with your supervisor, map out the on-the-job learning and leadership activities and/or trainings you will engage in to develop those skills and competencies. Brainstorm the resources (money, time, support relationships, etc.) that will be needed for success. Write out the action steps that will be needed to complete the activity.

Create Milestones and Timelines to Measure Your Success

This is the most important step. In order to develop a skill or improve your competency in a certain area, you have to practice what you have learned and have an opportunity to build your competence. Decide together what will be the milestones of progress toward successful acquisition of skills and the target completion dates for each milestone. Set your schedule of check-in meetings to be able to give status reports and receive feedback and advice from your supervisor throughout your development activities.

Review CDAP Regularly

Upon completion of a development activity, review with your supervisor the skills you have acquired and the ways in which those skills have enhanced your job performance and can be used to help you grow in the future. Set new goals and revise or adjust action steps and timelines as necessary.

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