In this series on career development I am providing different suggestions for how you might manage your own career progression. In the last posting I shared how you could use a mind map to layout your vision, goals, actions, and how you might be accountable for achieving those goals. With the mind map you can add notes to each node to keep track of your progress. However, some people may prefer a written plan providing more details. In this posting, I am sharing a sample career development plan that you could adapt to your own situation regardless if you have a manager/mentor working with you. Remember never let the lack of a manager or mentor involvement to hinder you from developing your skills and knowledge. And if you are looking for a mentor and one is not available at work or in your own social settings – tap into social media. If you are building relationships through social media I am sure there are testers who will be happy to help you.
And remember always be prepared for that next work assignment or even promotion! When those opportunities become available it is too late to prepare for them – you must be ready.
Career Development Plan
For [enter name]
I. Career Goals and Commitments
- What are the employee’s career goals?
- What are the employee’s strengths that can help with furthering the career goals?
- What are the employee’s weaknesses that can hinder progression towards the career goals?
- Provide a brief overview of learning and skills required for the employee’s present position.
- Provide a brief overview of learning and skills required for future opportunities (if applicable).
- What are the top two or three development areas to focus on over the next year?
- What is the employee’s commitment to manage his or her career opportunities?
- How will the employee’s manager/mentor support his or her career growth?
II. Development Plan
Based upon Section I identify the learning opportunities and career building opportunities that realistically can be completed over the next six-months to a year to make progression towards the employee’s goals.
Career Building Opportunities:
Learning Opportunities can be defined as: internal training, external training, blogs, and virtual conferences.
Career Building Opportunities can be defined as: opportunities to develop skills and knowledge through work assignments or other similar opportunities.
III. Review Plan
Define how often the manager/mentor and employee will meet to review progress and make any changes to the plan. This should be a living plan that can change as progress is made and new opportunities arise.