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How to take stock of your career development

by Elizabeth Harmon
Posted: October 27, 2021

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Are you where you want to be in your career?

Do you have grand ambitions that you’ve not fulfilled yet?

Or do you not have a clear plan?

Don’t put off setting goals until the start of the new year. There’s no time like the present to take stock of where you are in your career journey and define your career development plan.

Creating a mid-career plan

Don’t leave your career up to fate. Create a mid-career plan now, so you’re firmly in control of the directions you take. It will keep you moving forward and reaching for success!

1. Take stock of your current position

Reflect on your current job situation and ask yourself the following questions. Your answers will help when it comes to making future decisions:

  • What are your responsibilities in your current job?
  • Are you happy in your current career?
  •  What do you enjoy or dislike in your current role?
  •  What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Do you have all the skills you need?

career planning

2. Consider your future career

Now is when you should consider what you want your career to look like moving forward. Start by thinking about the following year, then 5 years, then 10 years. 

  • Do you want to be doing the same thing?
  • Do you want a promotion or to take on more responsibility?
  • Do you want a completely different career?
  • Do you want a job that gives you a greater sense of purpose or a better work-life balance?

3. Understand the job market

While it’s essential you find a career that you’re passionate about, keep in mind the Australian job market, especially if you’re looking for a career change. Those jobs that are most in-demand could offer more job security and long-term development opportunities.

4. Set SMART goals

Don’t make up enormous goals that are entirely unrealistic or unobtainable, as you’ll feel discouraged or disappointed when you can’t achieve them. Make sure you set SMART goals, which you then write down clearly:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound.

5. Define your action plan

Now that you have SMART goals work out what you need to do to achieve them. Do you need to volunteer for extra responsibilities or find a mentor? Do you need to work on your professional growth by focusing on soft skill development or taking some time to upskill? Or perhaps you need to find ways to expand your professional network?

6. Implement your action plan

Keep your action plan close at hand as you’ll need to work on these every day to help achieve your goals. 

Career goal setting

7. Keep sight of your goals

Revisit your goals regularly to witness the progress you’re making. Once you have completed a goal, set a new one so you’re continuously developing.

8. Be prepared for change

Businesses change, industries adapt, and your attitudes to your career or life plans will change over time too. So, prepare for your career plan to need some adjusting over time as well.

How can you upskill and reskill to advance your career?

There are lots of ways to advance your career, but upskilling or reskilling can be invaluable. 

• Upskilling will help you develop your skills to perform at your best in your current role. This might be useful if you would like to feel more confident in your current abilities, want to be seen as an expert in your field, or desire to expand your expertise further, providing extra value to your employer.

• Reskilling will help you learn new skills, enabling you to move on to a new career path. Having the right skills will help open doors to even more exciting opportunities.

Whatever your mid-career plan has in store for you, at Open Colleges, we have a range of flexible online courses designed to fit your lifestyle. Start your journey today with courses in health, business, trades, childhood education, design or technology.

Browse our selection of nationally recognised courses and develop the skills you need to take your career to the next level.


Elizabeth Harmon

Elizabethis an experienced Freelance Social Media Consultant based in the south of England. She works with a growing number of clients all around the world, showing businesses how to use social media more effectively and helping them to get the maximum benefit from it.

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