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4 Types of Career Planning

Career planning is the process of developing goals and an action plan for an individual's career. This has several common variations:

Performance Management

Many employers include a career planning component in their performance management process. Employees communicate their short term and long term goals and work with their manager to identify actionable and measurable steps towards these goals. This is an important part of the performance review process for high performers as it gives them a chance to push for a promotion and document the steps that are required. This type of career planning can be highly political and is confined to the opportunities available at your employer. As such, performance management related career planning isn't always useful for identifying your true aspirations and plan.

Career Management

Mid-career professionals may develop their own career plans beyond those known to their employer. This is typically a process of determining your goals, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to identify a few actionable steps that may improve your career.

Career Change

Professionals considering a career change may develop a career plan that is a back-to-basics investigation of what they want to do with the rest of their life including areas such as work-life balance. When goals are identified, career planning can then proceed to analysis of opportunities and risk.

Career Start

Inexperienced individuals such as students may plan for a future career by thinking about their goals, interests, abilities and personality. It typically requires guidance to map these factors to potential opportunities. At this stage, multiple unique opportunities may be listed with action steps designed to explore the waters or learn things that are useful to a broad range of professions. Alternatively, an individual may develop high confidence in a target career and develop an action plan to reach this goal.
Overview: Career Planning
The process of developing goals and an action plan for an individual's career.
Related Concepts

Career Planning

This is the complete list of articles we have written about career planning.
Action Plan
Career Change
Career Plan
Career Planning
Career Risk
Development Objectives
Development Plan
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A guide to planning, developing and changing careers.

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The definition of career direction with examples.

Career Goals

The definition of career goals with examples.

Career Objectives

How to craft effective career objectives with examples.

Career Path

The definition of career path with examples.

Career Change

The common types of career change.

Career Management

A guide to career management.
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