According to the Career Gateway, having a Career Management plan means you are in charge of your career and you think about what is important to you. You start to take the necessary steps to make your career goals happen and look for ways to improve your job skills.

There was a time when a career management plan wasn’t required as people used to stay in one job for a lifetime so there was no real need for job search skills. Today, however, people change jobs more often and there is very little job security. The job market is more competitive and employees are often competing with people from all over the world for jobs that were once local.  The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t helped either and has stalled many peoples career growth due to millions getting laid off due to the economic downturn.  Many companies have tightened their budgets and have held off on hiring and promotions. No matter your situation, with 2022 fast approaching , there is no better time to begin your Career Management Planning.

According to, employees now tend to change jobs every few years, layoffs are more common and part-time positions are also more common. Also, the incentive to stay in one job no longer exists with the elimination of the traditional company pension. Workers are now in charge of their own retirement plans and take them with them when they leave their jobs. On their website, outlines the following benefits of having a Career Management Plan:

  • You become more valuable to your employers
  • You may discover more opportunities (move up!)
  • You can make more money
  • You’ll gain confidence and self-respect.
  • You’ll set an example to others while relying on yourself and not others
  • You’ll be better prepared to handle change and crisis.

What is a Career?

A career is a lifelong journey that lasts your whole working life and is often called a career path. A job is different from a career in that a job is a specific position for which you get paid. A job may be nothing more than going to work to earn a paycheck with no career goals in mind. With a career you advance in pay or responsibility with each job you get. When you work you gain skills, knowledge and experience. Your career also includes education, training, work experience and community involvement.

Before you start planning your career, you will need to understand a little bit about career clusters and career paths.

What are Career Clusters?

Career clusters, also known as occupational groups, are group of careers that share common skills. A good way to get familiar with the concept of Career Clusters is to browse the Occupational Handbook at The Occupational Handbook is a guide to career information about hundreds of occupations. Each occupation is broken up into clusters of similar occupations. For example, the Office and Administrative Support Occupations include all office related positions such as receptionists, general office clerks, secretaries, administrative assistants, accounting clerks and many others.

What are Career Paths?

Career Development
In a career path, an employee may start out as a Receptionist, move up to an Administrative Assistant and finally get promoted to Office Manager.

Most people start out in a lower-level job in a career path and, with more education and experience, move up within that career path. For example, in the Office and Administrative Support occupations, an employee may start out as a Receptionist, move up to an Administrative Assistant and finally get promoted to Office Manager.

One way to determine what occupations you are best suited for is to take a Skills Assessment.  As part of your skills assessment, you will not only determine what occupations you are best suited for but also the occupations entry requirements, education, training, pay and any certification/licensing requirements. Understanding your chosen occupations requirements and working hard towards achieving those requirements is part of your career planning and career path.

Getting started with your Career Management Plan

A good place to begin with your Career Management Plan is to determine where you are in the career planning cycle. If you are just starting your job search, you are probably in the Skills Assessment phase. Taking a skills assessment will allow you to learn more about yourself and find a job that matches your skills, interests and values. The skills assessment blog post  will walk you through the steps of taking a skills assessment and exploring careers and career paths.



Creating a Career Management Plan

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