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What's so important about a career development plan? Will it make a difference in someone's career? How does someone go about starting to build one? What are the benefits to having one?

Related: 3 Steps To Create Your Own Career Development Plan

It has been said that “A goal without a plan is just a wish." Having a clear and effective career development plan can enable you to change career paths or advance your current one with a finite goal. Many times in the interview stage, a prospective employer will ask, “Where do you see yourself in five years?" Knowing your direction and seeing the bigger picture will make it much easier to answer this open-ended question. To begin building your career development plan, it is recommended that you do a self-assessment of your skills, values, and interests. Career happiness is contingent upon self-discovery about what is most important to you, doing what you enjoy, and doing what you are good at. List your strongest skills and then list skills that you would like to build upon or develop, whether through your current position or a job you wish to obtain. Next, list your values and interests. What is most important to you in a career? Is it good health insurance, work-life balance, or a collaborative environment? Rank those items in order of importance. Do you enjoy working alone or in a group setting? Do you prefer to be the behind-the-scenes person on a project or on the front lines? Also, consider any anticipated obstacles that may interfere with your action plan and how you will address those obstacles. Answering these questions will allow you to determine your career personality and ultimately lead you to create a list of specific steps you will take to attain those career goals. This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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About the author

Wendi Weiner, creatively known as The Writing Guru, is a Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW) and Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) with over 15 years of expertise in resume writing, essay writing, and professional editing. Visit her website here. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert.
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