Before you create your career advancement plan, you’ll want to make sure your career goals are solid and realistic. Talk to professionals in your field, ask your advisor or school counselor, or use Learn More Indiana’s resources to explore careers.
Start with your goals.
Lay out your short-term and long-term career goals and the education, training or on-the-job experience needed to achieve each step. (Don’t have short- and long-term goals yet? Read more about goals here.)
For example, George is a college student with a long-term goal of being a project manager on architectural programs. Here are his goals and the education or experience he expects he’ll need:
|Architectural internship||Bachelor’s degree|
|Lead project architect||Continuing education (on the job)|
|Project manager||Continuing education (on the job)|
Create your timeline.
Most degrees have a specific timeframe, but it’s much harder to know how long you’ll need to be on the job before you have enough experience to seek a higher position. Talking to professionals will help you determine your timeframe, but your career advancement will depend on available jobs, your ability to network and the skills you learn on the job.
George has a range of job experience he expects to need to advance his career:
|Architectural internship||Bachelor’s degree||Four years in college|
|Draftsman||Master’s degree||Two years in college|
|Architect||Architect’s license||One to two years' job experience|
|Lead project architect||Continuing education (on the job)||Five to ten years’ job experience with continuing education|
|Project manager||Continuing education (on the job)||Five to ten years’ job experience with continuing education|
Learn from others.
Show your career advancement plan to others in your field. They will help you determine how realistic it is. You will also want to make sure you have the resources to pay for your education. Although your education may be expensive, if you make smart choices the return on investment will be worth it!