How to Start a Career Action Plan

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Whether you are just embarking on your employment journey or you are a mid-career professional, it is important to have a career action plan to help you reach your professional goals.

With the proper action plan for your career goals, you can enhance your knowledge and skillset to achieve your career ambitions. Southern Careers Institute is dedicated to providing educational tools and guidance to help our students succeed in their chosen industry. From business and technology to medical and skilled trades, SCI offers an extensive selection of programs and services to help you establish a solid education and career action plan.

What is a Career Action Plan?

A career action plan is a comprehensive and organized series of goals that will help you to achieve your professional ambitions. A career development action plan also provides a thorough analysis of your employment history, education, professional training, and special skills. Additionally, it provides clearly outlined long- and short-term goals. Furthermore, a good career action plan will help you to identify potential barriers that could prevent you from reaching your target. This will help you can improve your experience, education, and overall skill set to overcome these challenges.

So, in order to begin the process of growing your career, it is important to understand how to write a plan for your career. In this article, we have summarized the 7 career action plan steps that will help you organize your career path and meet your professional goals. 

career action

Creating a Career Action Plan

A career action plan is a snapshot of your professional abilities and experience. In your plan, take the time to thoroughly describe and analyze the following:

Employment History:

Similar to a resume, this will help you to see your past work experience and plan for your future employment goals.

Education and Training:

Review your education and training and compare it with the education and training required for your current and future career goals. For example, a plan of action in a health career may require additional certifications or training in industry-specific areas.

Take a Self-Assessment:

If you are unsure of your skill level or knowledge of a given subject, it is a great idea to take a self-assessment. The U.S. Department of Labor has created the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) to provide students and professionals with tools to analyze their career skills and knowledge. 

Skills Inventory:

Thoroughly analyze your education and career experience, and create a comprehensive list of the skills that you have learned. This will help you to determine which skills you already have for your chosen profession, and which skills you need to hone in order to reach your professional goals.

Short-Term and Long-Term Goals:

Set reasonable short-term and long-term goals for your career plan. Be sure to set goals that are challenging yet attainable, so that you can tell when you are making noticeable progress without growing discouraged.

Identify Barriers to Reaching Goals:

When considering your long term goals, review the requirements for your dream job and plan ways to surmount the barriers between your current position, whether it is additional education, expanding your skill set, or obtaining a position within a particular industry. 

Plan Action Steps for Each Goal:

For each goal on your plan, create specific steps that you will use to achieve that goal. Not only will this give you an easy-to-follow path to each of your goals, but it will also help you to chart your progress.

Importance of a Career Plan

Career action plans are a critical tool for measurable professional development. Without a sufficient plan, you may find yourself moving away from your ultimate career goals. If you aren’t sure how to organize your plan, there are a variety of resources available.

The Federal Acquisition Institute offers an excellent professional career action plan example for contractors that serves as a useful guideline for numerous professions. For individuals who are completing their high school or secondary education and just beginning their professional journey, there are various career action plan examples and skill development tools for students at

With a reliable career action plan, you can dedicate your time and resources toward a tangible goal. In addition, a dedicated career plan will lay a clear path for you with multiple goals to keep you motivated and forward-facing.

Planning for Your Future Career 

At Southern Careers Institute, we are dedicated to helping our students plan, establish, and grow careers they love. We offer a wide array of courses and programs to help jump start your career in a broad range of industries, including:

  • Business
  • Beauty
  • Medical
  • Technology
  • Skilled Trades

SCI offers both online and on-site courses from eight convenient locations throughout Texas, including:

  • Austin
  • Brownsville
  • Corpus-Christi
  • Harlingen
  • Pharr
  • San Antonio North
  • San Antonio South
  • Waco

Our easy-access locations and online resources allow you to advance your professional education. They also allow you to do so while working around your home and professional life. Whether you are new to your profession or advancing your career, let Southern Careers Institute help you create your career action plan and advance your professional goals. You deserve Recognition – Get the Promotion and Raise You Want. Apply today to start your professional journey with Southern Careers Institute.


This article was published on: 06/24/20 5:24 PM

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“I made a complete career change when I started my training at Southern Careers Institute. I needed a stable career to continue providing for my growing family. SCI provided me with the medical terminology and know how that I needed to understand and acquire a career in the medical field. SCI taught me that it doesn’t matter where you are in life right now; you always have room to advance and learn.”


Denise S.
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“I am extremely grateful for the assistance I received from SCI’s Career Services team. I enjoy where I work and what I do. SCI has helped me succeed in life by getting me the necessary education and by making me a stronger and more confident person.”


Raquel S.

“Once I graduated from SCI, I had a sense of accomplishment that helped me through the job search process. SCI provided me with the opportunity to brush up on my skills, extend my accounting knowledge, and they boosted my self-confidence. I went to work two days after my last day of school.”


Annette D.
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“When my youngest child graduated from high school, I told my husband that it was my time. I went back to school to change careers after spending 37 years in the business field. At SCI, the instructors are professional, and they care about what they are teaching you, as well as expect you to give 100% in return. I had problems understanding how to draw in syringes and give injections. I requested extra help from a knowledgeable instructor, and I was able to receive one-on-one training. Today, I draw injections for approximately 100 patients each week. I am very confident in what I’ve learned. SCI has given me the chance to do what I always wanted to do. Thank you for my education. I am doing wonderful.”


Bonnie M
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“I am now a certified Lab Tech. SCI helped me get an externship, and I came out with a job. After my little sister had cancer, I knew I wanted a career in the medical field that allowed me to help others. I am happy about what I do.”


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“The best place ever!! Ms.Tonia rocks she is the best teacher… I love going to school my time there is amazing.”


Andrea Garcia

“Southern Careers went beyond my expectations. Very impressed. The assistance I got from Career Services is truly amazing. They really went out of their way to get me placed. They really care and I am grateful to all of them.”


Olga C.

“Southern Careers Institute totally surpassed my expectations. Once I finished school, the Career Services team helped me find a job. I would tell anyone thinking about starting career training that you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. I wish I would have started my training sooner.”


Valerie D.

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