Career planning

Whether starting out or looking to change careers, having a goal is integral. Goals fuel your ambition, keep you motivated and inspire you to achieve things you may not have thought possible.

This page will help you consider the steps and support available to manage your career. The Career Snapshot tool is a good place to start and people find it useful to get goals down on paper in a simple way.

Support resources

  • Tips for career planning at any age or career stage

    These three steps can help you to develop a career plan that will get you where you want to be professionally.


    Reflection is key to success. It increases productivity and performance. Taking some time to reflect on your current role and the path you want to be on is crucial first-step to creating a career plan.

    Besides reflecting on your career path, you should also reflect on yourself and your values, skills and passions. When you begin to understand what it is that you want, you’ll be able to more easily create a plan that suits your goals and your lifestyle.

    Goal setting

    Self-reflection will lead you to identifying if you want to diverge from the path you are on, or change your career path, and what you need to do to get there. Setting goals is an integral next step in creating a successful career plan.

    You may have heard about SMART goals. These are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-specific. By writing your goals down using the SMART criteria, you clarify your ideas, focus your efforts, use your time productively and increase your chances of achieving what you want to. It doesn't matter if your goals are short or long term goals, but it is important to document them. Writing out your goals and sharing these with a trusted colleague, friend or mentor can create a sense of accountability, and the act of writing  these down cements them in your long term memory so they’re always accessible and locked in to your subconscious.

    Develop a plan

    Once you have undertaken self-reflection and you have set some SMART goals, the final step is to develop a plan to get there. This is the point in your career planning where you should know your interests and skills, and start working out what you need to do to get where you want to be.

    Perhaps you want to get some more experience before you put yourself on the job market, or maybe it comes down to a choice between two different careers. Whatever your decision needs to be, this is the time to make it, so you can solidify your career plan and embark on your path. Here are some methods that can help you to make those difficult decisions:

    • Make a pros and cons list.
    • Evaluate how each path aligns with your values.
    • Think about the future consequences of each path.
  • Your resume

    Learning how to write a resume and keeping it up to date is important as having an up to date resume can be handy when opportunities present themselves.

  • Expressions of Interest (EOI) and Interviews

    Expressions of interest (EOI's) are used by staff to submit their interest in a position. An EOI is usually 1-2 pages in length, and highlights the skills and expertise applicants have that meet the selection criteria. They are submitted to a selection committee who assesses candidates' suitability for the position.

    Staff may then be invited to an interview. Interviews are a critical part of the selection process, and provide the selection committee an opportunity to find the candidate who possesses the best mix of skills, knowledge and abilities for the position. Candidates should prepare for interviews they might have.

    The Expression of interest and interview preparation document steps through preparing an EOI and tips on how to prepare for an upcoming interview.

  • Likes and dislikes

    Reflect on what you like, dislike, need, and want from work

    Our likes and dislikes can change over time. It's good to reflect on what you feel strongly about in your life and career. It’s also important to have a purpose that you find emotionally engaging and to know what motivates you.

    Use the Career Snapshot tool to help you organise your thoughts around what is important to you in your life, work and career. Keep this table to reflect back on.

  • Record your achievements

    Keeping a record of your work achievements and professional accomplishments is not only useful for building your resume, it’s also useful for career planning. Documenting achievements is also helpful in preparing for interviews as it will assist you in easily recalling the examples to the panel.

  • Transferable skills

    Think beyond your current job title by considering your goals and how the skills you currently have would be useful in a new role. Make a list of relevant transferable skills to add to your resume.

    Do some research on what skills you need to gain. If your goal is to become a People and Culture Business Partner for example, what experience and skills do you need to gain in the next year, or in the next five years, to be qualified for that job title? Create a plan for achieving your long-term career goals.

  • Set career goals

    While you can be successful in your career without setting goals, you can be even more successful with goal setting. What are your short-term (within a year) and long-term (within five to 10 years) career goals?

    A big part of career planning is reviewing and adjusting your goals on a regular basis – and developing new goals once you accomplish your previous ones. Each time you sit down for a career planning session, break out this list and review it.

  • Explore new education/training

    Part of career planning is finding training opportunities, courses, or workshops that will help you further your career. Take advantage of professional development opportunities at work, this can be valuable in reaching your goals.

  • Leverage and learn

    Build relationships with leaders inside and outside of your organisation; attend job-related conferences, and explore other events. The better your network, the more opportunities you have to learn from others who’ve enjoyed success. To find out more about other possible career options, you can conduct some informational meetings with colleagues or managers – people are generally willing to share advice if you ask.

  • Other resources
  • Employment agencies

    Finding a new job can be daunting. External providers such as employment agencies and outplacement services can assist you in your search.

    Employment agencies help to connect people with jobs where they will be able to achieve their goals and thrive. A quick google search in your area will assist in finding an employment service or consultant to help you start your job search.