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Career planning is the process by which an individual takes time to plan his or her job path and moves-both short-term and long-term, in the light of their own strengths and motivations, and the existing or forecasted job market opportunities.

Career planning should properly occur throughout an individual's working life, not solely at the beginning of the career, or at crisis points such as when a job is lost. Some experts recommend that a person take time as frequently as once a year to do career planning (especially if on a yearly employment contract).

Part of career planning, unless it is being done for the first time, is reflecting on what path the individual's career has taken since the last time career planning was done. By reviewing and comparing the job currently held, how well expectations have been met and alternative options, one can determine whether the career and job (s)he is currently in is one that still provides satisfaction, or if changes are in order.

The need to include one's likes and dislikes from life outside of the career is important, especially when viewed from the perspective of work-life balance.

The onus of developing a disciplined and well thought out career plan of course falls upon individuals. However, employers can help to develop and inspire the aspirations of their employees.

Our site offers a wealth of resources on career advice, but also tools and advice on developing the talent of employees from an organizational perspective.