The final step in career planning and decision making is to create an action plan or career readiness plan. A career readiness plan can help to you to formulate a sense of direction. It’s a useful way to outline what you want to achieve and how to get there.

An effective career readiness plan:

  • focuses on the goals you want to achieve and the actions you need to take to achieve these goals
  • lists the steps you need to take in order to achieve your goals in the short, medium and long term include timelines, strategies and resources
  • identifies any potential barriers to you achieving your goals and preparing contingency plans to overcome these.


Write down your career goals. Include as many goals as you like under each heading.

Short-Term Career Goals (6 months-1 year)

Medium-Term Career Goals (2-5 years)

Long-Term Career Goals (5+ years)

Create your own Career Readiness Plan. Include your goals and  strategies to help you achieve them, resources that may assist you and barriers that could prevent you from achieving what you want. Set realistic deadlines.

Here’s an example.

Sample Career Readiness Plan

Career Goal/s

To obtain a job as a human resources coordinator

Action Goals

  • Check employment websites and industry journal once a week
  • Identify 10 employers to approach
  • Prepare resume and cover letter


  • Careers website and drop-in resume sessions
  • Internet: 2 hours on weekends for research
  • AHRI journal: check organisations
  • Ask academics for contacts
  • Placement supervisor and co-workers


  • Lack of time


  • Arrange to do research on weekends.
  • Break research down into small steps over 6 weeks.


  • Send applications by end of October

Keep your Career Readiness Plan somewhere accessible so you can  update it as you progress through university,  learn more about yourself and increase your knowledge of your field and employment strategies.


  • While it is important to plan, keep in mind that a plan needs to be flexible and goals need to be realistic. Action goals are very useful in a rapidly changing world.
  • Be open and adjust your plans according to circumstances, your changing ideas and your developing knowledge and skills.