Planning your career can substantially help your professional achievement.
Career planning is essential; whether you are just starting out or established in your career but looking to change direction or explore new opportunities.
If you do not have a plan, it is unlikely you will progress. Regular planning and objective setting allows you to track development and ensure that you remain at the cutting edge of your profession.
The most important thing when considering a new job or career change is to explore the options and research the opportunities available to you.
You can undertake career planning at any phase in your professional life; whether you are a new graduate starting out, or an experienced engineer or technologist looking for a change of direction or a move into a new area of expertise.
Like many others, you may have left formal education unsure of what you wanted to do, or the career goals you initially set shifted with time or were affected by changes within the industry. Whatever your reasons for wanting to reconsider your position or change direction, you can always find a way to get back on track or start anew with a career plan to fit your individual requirements.
There is no reason to stay in a job where you do not feel you are fulfilling your potential. If you have planned a career and feel it is stagnating, or if you have not previously drawn up a plan but feel that you need some direction, it is not too late to start planning. You may have transferable skills and existing competences which you can use to build an idea of what you liked doing, what you didn't like doing and to set action plans to maximise the time you spend doing work you enjoy.
It may be that circumstances will not allow you to change career, or that you are content to stay where you are but are looking for new challenges. A change in job or sector is not the only way to develop yourself and expand your horizons.
A competence framework can give you a structure on which to build your career.
Professional registration can give you a framework to develop your career, especially in your first years of employment as you develop new skills.
Whether you are on an accredited professional development scheme or working on your own, the competence frameworks for CEng, IEng, ICTTech and EngTech provide a structure for setting objectives and recognising achievement.
IET members can use the online professional development tool, Career Manager, to build a job profile using UK-SPEC [new window] frameworks and a number of industry specific frameworks including the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) [new window] which is designed for IT professionals.
Career Manager can also be used to set objectives for personal development and to build an application for professional registration.