Five-Year Career Development Plan (from an accountant to a branch manager)
Career development plan is a proactive planning of a series of steps that are geared towards attaining a specific career goal (Raelin, 2002). It entails implementation of the action steps that will take you from the position you are to where you want to be after a stipulated period of time hence a career plan is very instrumental in ensuring that one achieves his or her career objectives.
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Career Goals and Objectives
My five-year career development plan is in the business field, where I am currently working as an accountant in a bank and am planning that in the next five years I will have been promoted to the rank of a branch manager. The first step in achieving this milestone is by setting goals and objectives that will act as my guideline towards achieving my career development goal. In setting the goals, I have put into consideration some key factors that are critical in coming up with definite career objectives. First, the goals must be very specific and well designed, they should be measurable in terms of achievement, they should be attainable and realistic, the goals must be relevant to the long term career objective and lastly, they must be time bound, that is they should be set within a specific time frame (Schutt, 2007). Some of the goals and objective I have set include:
First, enhancement of my leadership skills. I have a sense of command and authority and so I am strongly convicted that I can make a good leader. I also like being at the fore-front and in control of any activity I undertake.
Secondly, development of my communication skills. I am an orator with excellent communication skills hence I will be in a position to utilize my abilities and even perfect my art of public speaking in the course of managing staff members and other junior employees in the organization.
Thirdly, gaining managerial skills. I am planning to run my own business one day and this will be a platform to help me gain managerial skills and hands-on experience on how to manage people and business at large.
In my action plan, I have considered possibilities of promotion opportunities arising which will help me attain my career goals. I have resolved to enroll in a masters’ class in Business Administration so as to secure my position in the organization and increase chances of getting promotion when the opportunity arises. I am also planning to attend all work-shops and seminars that can build my curriculum vitae and develop my leadership skills. I want to focus on deepening my expertise and narrowing my niche so as to specialize specifically on management field. This will help me rise in ranks and ultimately get to the manager.
In order to get to my dream career position, I have an obligation to impress my employers by doing an excellent work in my current position so as to earn their trust. I am required to display high standards of discipline and commitment to my work. This calls for perseverance and hard work. I should be in a position to work under pressure and with minimal supervision.
The first step is to have some form of accountability. This could be a person in the work place who is very close and whom I can fully trust. He will be responsible in keeping me on check and since he is in a good position to monitor and assess my abilities, he can advice me on how to capitalize on my strengths and suppress my weakness. I will also be required to do some self assessments so as to keep track on my career development plan. A career development counselor may also be of help to tutor and prepare me towards attaining my dream goal. Secondly, I need to be a good networker and get in the circle of prominent and successful businessmen and women. Through networking and knowing of prominent personalities, I will get the challenge and the drive to work harder and achieve what they have achieved in their careers. This will also motivate me to fully utilize my potential in the course of attaining my dream goal.
Thirdly, I need to have a mentor, most preferably a person who is in the position where I would like to be so as to be challenged and empowered towards getting to where he is. This will also help me know what it entails being a branch manager and be prepared psychologically for same.
In the course of attaining my set career objectives, there bound to a rise a number of issues that will curtail my career plan. Some of the obstacles include: educational level, due to limited time to venture more into furthering my studies, five years may elapse before I obtain the required academic papers for such a position. Again, balancing of my set goals with family, personal issues and other aspects of life may prove to be a delicate balance that may curtail my career objectives. Transfer to another station, I may be transferred to a different station where am new to my colleagues and employers and I may be forced to adjust to the new environment. This will be an obstacle towards attaining my five-year career development plan because of the change in environment and management. Competition from my fellow colleagues, I may be out-competed by other competent and more experienced senior colleagues in the organization hence missing out on the top position within the stipulated five-year plan. Other unpredictable natural occurrences like health issues may also curtail my career plan.
The five-year career development plan is sufficient time to enable one develop a career and expertise in a given field. The five-year time frame also enables one to rise in ranks and achieve the set career objectives. In order to achieve this action plan, it calls for commitment and patience from the side of the planner. This is because of the many setbacks that are bound to arise in the course of achieving the dream career. You must also have a self drive and high self esteem to sail you through the hurdles and day to day challenges at the place of work. Participating in the various training, workshops and seminars will help one acquire the relevant knowledge and skills required for career development. Through the various training, you will have an opportunity to increase your network of professional personalities and career developers who are vital in steering one to attaining a successful career development plan. The time and resources invested in such training programs is insignificant when compared to the long-term returns and benefits that come with it (Wendleton, 2005).
Raelin, A. (2002). Personal Career Development for Professionals. London: Stress Free Print.
Schutt, A. (2007). How to Plan and Develop a Career Center. New York: Sterling Publishing.
Wendleton, K. (2005). Navigating Your Career: Develop Your Plan, Manage Your Boss, Get Another Job Inside. Toronto: Oxford University Press.