Proactive Career Development ~ 10 Key Areas to Assess Yourself and Plan for

On one of my daily walks, my well-being-fix, a tiny stone found its way into my walking shoes. Despite knowing what to do to remove it and the discomfort experienced, I walked for about 4 kilometres with it until I got home. I don’t have a convincing response to: why Ennie? I pushed it to the front, to the back, sideways and even attempted at some point to have it nicely settle in the groove of my foot for a while. Despite knowing what to do, I just didn’t stop and deal with it🙈.

Many of us, when it comes to intentional career planning and proactive career management, plus taking disciplined action, we sadly behave like me and my tiny stone incident. We know what we need to do, or where to get support, but we shift tasks related to our career plans down the to do list, back up, then onto a side post-it note, and after a while to some discreet part of our lives to gather dust. Then when an opportunity comes or we are forced to look for a new job we are simply not well positioned to put our best foot forward. We make excuses, procrastinate, or practice avoidance, we partly implement plans, we are not accountable to self or others, we deprioritise ourselves and in the end we miss out. We sadly consciously or unconsciously sabotage ourselves.

To assess how you currently measure up, below I offer a career self-coaching guide in the form of a 10 Point Proactive Career Development Checklist, which could guide your annual, quarterly, monthly or weekly career development priorities. If you answer YES to any of the assessment areas, then there is no need for you to act on it. If you answer MAYBE/partly or NO, then consider taking action in that area. Checklist self-assessment areas –

1. I am self-aware and I have ~ Self-Knowledge. I am clear about who I am if asked, what I like and don’t like in career options, what I’m good at, what I want to achieve long-term and short-term this year = my Career Goals. I have identified and written down my passion, purpose, vision, values, identity, personality, skills and other resources in my life. I use all this self-knowledge when making decisions about career development actions, job search plans and education or learning choices.

2. Career Wheel Picture

2. I do ~ regular Career Research to know and keep track of labour market information and trends in my sector, opportunities in my workplace and can tap into the hidden job market or create my own career opportunities e.g. I am positioned to be self-employed. I know about the Fourth Industrial Revolution, automation and other digital trends that impact my profession and career path.

3. I have ~ a recently developed and/or updated Career Development Plan that states my vision, purpose, values, career goals and actions. It also states my Accountability Partner/Team, habits and systems I’m putting in place to achieve the goals. I am also clear about obstacles that I face or can face and I have a plan of how to address these.

4. I have ~ an up to date Career Management Package and/or Job Search Package, which includes a Job Search Plan, an updated CV/resume, sample Cover letters, updated LinkedIn profile and I regularly do Interview practice.

5. I have ~ a Career Portfolio that contains lifelong evidence of my knowledge, skills, experience, competencies, achievements, awards and recognition.

6. I know my Career Identity, I can tell my Career Story and I have a Personal Career Brand that I actively work on. I use my voice to promote my ideas in person and online, and I can market myself. I am a recognised Expert or Thought Leader in my field.

7. I practice ~ Lifelong Learning by consistently taking learning actions daily, regularly share knowledge, and develop core skills – both technical and soft skills. I also know how to acquire any work experience (paid or unpaid) to support my career goals.

8. I have ~ an active Social and Professional Network with 15 key roles that I build and check in with regularly. I can activate opportunities or job search leads through family, friends, mentors, coaches, advisors, peers and sponsors in my network anytime.

Social and Professional Network - 15 Key Roles Information Sheet

9. I share my knowledge and skills as part of Social Contribution and what I learn from this volunteering or community work I bring into my career. I help others to learn and develop in their careers or life as well.

10. I effectively take actions in each area of the 8 wellness and practice Work-Life Integration. I also work on any self-limiting beliefs about my capacity, managing my inner critic, my past, low self esteem, imposter syndrome, limited confidence etc. I address quickly ~ any toxic work environment or relationship issues.


How did you measure up? ~ number of 💯% YES answers out of 10?

Remember, anything that was a MAYBE or NO, consider including that in your Career Development Plan.

Do you need and want support with proactive career planning development to accompany your journey? If yes, find me on Twitter or Facebook and you will find a lot of free career development tips, learning resources and curated content.

Life and Career Coach🔥

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s