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Achieve your goals with a career planning template 8 min read
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Planning professional development can be a daunting task and a lot lies in the approach you take to reach your goals. The core objective of setting goals is to bridge the gap between your current skills and competencies and your ultimate career ambitions. Luckily, there are tools available to help you structure your journey — one such tool is a career planning template.

By using this handy template, you can structure your goals into a clear roadmap, making what once seemed impossible more attainable. When it comes to career achievements, proper organization is key. This article details what a career development plan template is, why you might consider using one, and how to use it to plan your career. Let’s dive right in.

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What is a career planning template?

A career planning template is a tool that individuals can use to chart the course of their future. It’s a way of thinking about what skills and knowledge you might need in order to achieve specific goals.

A career plan can also help you identify potential obstacles and develop strategies for overcoming them. You can identify your professional objectives, talents, and interests by using a template, which can help you find a job you like. It’s a good idea to think of a career plan as a continuous process that helps you hone your profession as you go. Your goals and general approach are just two examples of the many things that might change over time.

Let’s take a look at these steps in more detail.

  1. Setting goals: Get to know yourself and establish what your goals are. Don’t be afraid of thinking big and setting goals that push your limits.
  2. Assessing current skills and knowledge: Identify what your current skills are and take note of them. This should include both hard skills like computer skills and soft skills like communication or leadership.
  3. Identifying gaps: Once you’ve identified where you want to go and where you are, it’s time to identify the gap that lies between these two points. How far away are you from meeting your goal? What would you need to achieve to get closer to reaching it?
  4. Creating an action plan: At this stage, you should figure out which exact actions will lead to realizing your goals. You might decide to take some courses, apply for more jobs, or build your network. Whatever you must do, make a clear roadmap that you can continue using as a reference point along the way.

A career development plan can be a valuable tool for achieving success. It helps to make the seemingly impossible more tangible and concrete. Let’s have a look at some of the other advantages of using a career plan to map out your success.

Why use a career planning template

It isn’t always easy to lay out the short-term and long-term goals necessary to achieve your goals. Using a career planning template can help you visualize your path to success with greater clarity. Aside from this, a career planning template can also help you to:

  • Choose between career paths
  • Create an actionable plan
  • Understand and anticipate the steps involved to reach success
  • Hierarchically organize various career options

As delivered in the wise words of Earl Nightingale, “All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.” To help you visualize the difference a good career plan can make, we’ve put together a hypothetical example for you to consider.

What are some examples of career planning templates?

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Philip and Rhonda both want to become doctors. While Rhonda is at home studying the steps involved in reaching that goal, Philip is out with his friends and believes that if it’s supposed to happen, then it will. Rhonda has calculated approximately how many hours of study are required to achieve the grades she would need to get into medical school; Philip is studying as normal and hoping for the best. Rhonda has also organized the details of how she would fund her studies in the event that her grades are good enough. She has already taken on a part-time job, which would make her eligible for student loans.

When the grades are released, both Philip and Rhonda achieve good grades, but having not planned ahead, Philip is unable to finance his studies and will have to try again next year. Rhonda has used her part-time work to demonstrate her ability to make money and save and as a result, she’s granted a student loan and goes to medical school. While this example is simple, it captures the essence of the value of planning ahead when working on meeting career goals. For Rhonda, using’s Career Planning Template was a good decision and she won’t hesitate to use it in the future.

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Career planning template on is often referred to as the Swiss-army knife of productivity. Our feature-rich, highly-customizable Work OS allows users to tailor their interface to meet their productivity needs. With a bounty of professional documents and other expert guidance on tap, Work OS is suitable for both individuals and organizations, is immensely supportive of team collaboration, and even has the templates you need to drive your goals forward. Being highly customizable, it can easily meet the demands of project teams in any industry.’s Career Planning Template allows you to create items corresponding to each stage of your career development plan. You can assign role responsibilities and expected salary rates for each item and stage. The template also allows you to assign expected time frames and anticipate spending in each stage of development. With these crucial features, you can easily orient yourself to stay on track to meet your goals.

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Related templates

Our Career Planning Template is just one of the many useful templates that users can take advantage of. It’s a great tool for employees to map their growth trajectory within an organization, improving employee satisfaction and fostering organizational development.

Employee training plan template

Employers often use our Career Planning Template alongside our Employee Training Plan Template to create plans that align employee goals with organizational objectives. This template covers creating a training checklist, assigning a training schedule, tracking employee performance, and staying on top of the employee’s career development plan. By using this template, you can organize your training activities and remove the hassle of administration to focus on what matters.

Development plan template

If your main aim is to focus on development, you can use our free Development Plan Template to help you track your performance improvements. It helps you organize developmental goals and rank each item based on personally selected criteria. You can also assign due dates and expected timelines for each development stage, helping you keep the momentum of your planned growth trajectory going strong.

Frequently asked questions

What is a career development plan?

A career development plan is a road map that helps individuals attain their professional goals. It’s a tool that can help you identify the skills and experience necessary to reach your desired position as well as create a plan for acquiring those skills and experiences. By organizing your career development plan into milestones and steps, it becomes less intimidating and easier to approach.

How do I write a career plan?

Structuring a career plan can be complicated if you have nothing to go on. That’s why using the pre-existing structure of a career planning template can be a good idea. Creating a career development plan involves setting goals, assessing your current skills, identifying gaps in skills and knowledge, and creating a clear action plan.

Planning for success in your career

People often find themselves under immense pressure to reach their goals and professional development tends to mean a lot to those interested in long-term success. For these reasons, organization can be extremely important as it can help you to arrange your path into achievable short- and long-term goals. Using a career planning template can take away the initial stress of structuring your goals, making the path to success straightforward and easy to visualize.

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