Career planning and personal development plan: Sample

By John Dudovskiy

People who plan their career years in advance and make efforts to make them happen achieve far more than those who do not have a long-term plan and make their career decisions dictated only by immediate benefits. It’s better to be proactive for an individual to assess his interests, strengths, weaknesses and realistically evaluate his options and make relevant plans, rather than being reactive and end up in an employment where the individual’s true potentials are not realised for many different reasons.

This article illustrates my personal career plan in detail in my chosen field of professional interest – marketing, and lists steps I am planning to undertake to progress to my dream job, anticipating possible challenges, analysing alternative progressions and describing preventive actions. The article also describes career planning methodology, marketing field in general and necessary KSAs to be successful in this field.

My personal development plan is provided in the article along with my SMART objectives describing how I am planning to prepare myself for each step which eventually will lead me to my dream job – marketing executive.


Dream Job – Marketing Executive

Marketing executives promote products, services or ideas by developing marketing strategies and campaigns. They are closely involved in public relations, planning, research, product development, participating in events and organising them. This role is fascinating to me because it provides two job elements which I find exciting: meeting and communicating with people, and seeing the immediate and long-term results of your work.

Marketing executives have a wide range of responsibilities and it depends mainly on the sector and the size of the company. The job of a marketing executive includes production of marketing materials, managing the marketing budget, organizing and attending to events, exhibitions etc., evaluating the efficiency of marketing campaigns, conducting market research, and dealing with press and others.

The main skills required for marketing executives are communication skills, interpersonal skills, problem solving, strategic thinking, creativity, attention to detail and others.


Career Planning Methodology

The career planning process proposed by The University of Edinburg Career Services (The career planning process-online, 2014) consists of following parts:

  • What I want and what I have to offer? Identify what factors are important to individual, build up a picture of priorities priorities in terms of skills, interests and what motivates the individual, recognise what might hold him back and identify how to fill any gaps in experiences.
  • What’s out there? Gathering appropriate information about the nature of different types of work, the range of employment opportunities, and further study or training opportunities.
  • Focus on options. Making confident decisions by analysing the research done on individual and his options.
  • Making plans. Setting short and long term goals. Being realistic, considering the time available, focusing on the priorities set, breaking down large tasks and reviewing plans regularly.
  • Making it happen. Reflecting on the skills and experiences and putting  plans into action.

The Career Planning Model proposed by Queensland University of Technology (What is a career?-online, 2014) has the following format:

Career planning

Source: Queensland University of Technology web-site

An alternative holistic career planning model proposed by Oregon State University (Career planning process – online, 2014) consists of the following interchangeable steps:

•Becoming self-aware-explore unique qualities – how do I fit with different career types?

•Becoming career-aware-exploring career possibilities – what do people do in different careers? Should I start my own business?

•Integrating awareness information-exploring challenges, making decisions & setting goals – does this mean following my heart or my head, or both?

•Marketing -preparing to obtain work – can I pull it all together to convince an employer I’m the right person for the job?

•Workplace Success-exploring methods for success – how can I start out on the right foot?

•Balanced lifestyle-review, reflecting, researching, and responding to personal, family/social, career, leisure, and community integration – Yikes!


Personal Career Plan

My personal career plan consists of several stages. Prior to landing to my dream job – senior marketing executive of a global multinational company I have to gain valuable skills and experience that would help me to be successful in that job. These skills are interpersonal skills, communication skills, ability to conduct extensive complex researches, creativity and others. I can gain these skills working in different positions which would lead me to senior marketing executive position, where in each position I can master one or more of the skills required


  Stage 1: Working as a sales person in a multi-level marketing company.

After completion of my studies the first job I will be doing is the position of a sales person in a multi-level marketing company such as Discovery Toys, Freelife, Herbalife, Neways or telecom Plus.

I will benefit from working in a multi-level marketing company in following ways:

  1. My communication skills will be improved. Working in a multi-level marketing company means I will be speaking to lots of people every day trying to persuade them to buy products I am selling when they do not want it in the first place. This is the essence of a multi-level marketing business. Customers will not come to me interested in my product, I will have to knock their doors and persuade them that they need the item I am selling.
  2. I will get used to rejections. Every day dozens of people will reject my offers and I will learn not to take rejections personally, but to deal with them professionally
  3. I will benefit from training courses. Many global multi-level marketing companies offer valuable training courses for employees for free which is aimed at increasing their communication and selling skills
  4. I will improve my team managing skills. Many multi-level marketing companies operate in a way that you have to build your team and you get a certain percentage of the sales made by your team.

However, there would be possible challenges such as desire to give up if no sales made for a period of time and coping with limited or no money earned during the initial period of joining the business.

Preventive actions for challenges would be to be focusing on my dream job and to be persistent. Also, to get financial help from my parents during the initial period of joining the company.


Stage 2: Working in a marketing research company.

After working for a multi-level marketing company for about 2 years and gaining confidence and expertise in communicating with people and direct selling, the next step will be joining a marketing research company such as Illuminas, Kantar Group or Mintel.

The benefits for me would be to understand deeply market segments, different strategies of marketing research and learning how to work with data. I am planning to work for a market research company for about a year.

The possible challenges could be difficulty of securing employment due to absence of formal work experience in the field and lack of my knowledge of marketing research

Preventive actions I am planning to undertake are convincing potential employers that the value of my academic research could be equal to formal work research experience and to be consistently increasing my knowledge about market research


Stage 3: Working in a multinational company as a marketing officer

In today’s global marketplace marketing executives have to know about different cultures in detail especially about the factors that trigger their decision to buy a product or service. Working for a multinational company where I have a chance to cooperate closely with representatives of a wide range of cultures will give me an opportunity to study them closely which will benefit me enormously later when I will become a marketing executive of a large multinational company. It will help me in two ways: to effectively manage multinational workforce and to target potential clients of different nationalities. I am planning to work in a multinational company for about three years.

The possible challenge for career progression at this stage can be the difficulty of finding such a position. There is a risk that a company can be global and multinational, but the circle of people I deal with in my position could be limited just to several nationalities. In that case alternative progression would be still working for a multinational company as marketing officer, and at the same time to be learning about different cultures, their values and factors influencing their decision making through alternative channels.


Stage 4: Working as marketing manager and leading a marketing team.

One I have mastered communication and interpersonal skills, obtained work experience in marketing research company as researcher and have been working with people from variety cultures and studying them, the only step from my dream job will be the actual experience of managing people. Knowing how to manage and motivate employees to greater performance is also one of the key skills successful senior marketing executive should possess. I will get a job where I will be managing a team of at least ten marketing officers. I will be working in such a position for about five years.

Possible challenges in that stage can be some difficulties in managing people at initial period due to absence of managing experience.

There are no alternative progressions in that part. Successful marketing executive has to know how to lead people. Preventive action would be to be learning about management well ahead before I reach that stage, that is effective management principles and rules from now.


Stage 5: Securing employment in my dream job – Senior Marketing Executive in a global, multinational company.

I will land my dream job after eleven years of graduating from school and acquiring all necessary KSAs needed to be successful as marketing executive. The period of securing my dream job – eleven years may not seem ambitious enough, but it is a realistic estimation to realise that plan.

Possible challenge I might face as a marketing executive can be in the form of size of the business. Preventive action would be to form a good team of employees in form to take on challenges.


Personal Development Plan

Generally, the following three basic questions need to be asked in order to develop personal development plan:

  1. Where am I now?
  2. Where do I want to be?
  3. How can I get there?

The following flowchart illustrates the process of writing a personal development plan:

Personal Development Plan

My personal development plan is aimed to equip me with all necessary KSA’a to proceed through all stages of my career stages and to land to my dream job. It includes following:

  • To be reviewing new issue of Marketing Week magazine every month. It will keep me updated about the latest trends in marketing
  • To attend Dale Carnegie ‘Effective Communication and Human Relations” course in 2015
  • To attend Impact Factory leadership development course in by 2015
  • To attend Kwintessential cross-cultural awareness course by 2017
  • To become a member of Market Research Society by 2019
  • To be publishing articles about various aspects of marketing in specialist magazines each month starting from 2019



The existence of a career plan does not guarantee that our career will follow exactly the same direction as we have mapped. However, this fact should not diminish the importance of identifying career plan in writing, because thinking about our next job taking into account our interests, knowledge, skills and abilities will help us to identify positions where our talents will be in their best use and we will enjoy the job itself.

In a personal level I benefited from writing my present personal career plan enormously. I had to evaluate the choices I have at present and make plans what I want from my career and how to achieve them.



Career Planning Process (2014) Oregon State University, Available at:

The Career Planning Process (2014) Career Services, University of Edinburg Career Services, Available at:

What is a Career? (2014) Careers and Employment, Queensland University of Technology. Available at: