The Career Action Plan – Career Compass Blog Series

Written and Submitted by: Vanessa Mainella, Student Copywriter – The Ryerson Career and Co-op Centre Student Team

Welcome back to the CC Blog series, Ramily! The semester is coming to an end, and for some, that could mean their Ryerson journey is ending as well. If you’re launching into your next steps, we have career action advice for you.

In a recent CC post, we spoke about career planning, a process that involves lots of introspection through 4 steps: 

  • Self assessment
  •  Identifying
  •  Researching
  •  Evaluating 

But career planning doesn’t end there (unfortunately, although it would be nice). The next step in the process of discovering your career for life is creating a career action plan, a tool culminated from all your previous reflection

What is a career action plan?

Think of it as plotting out a map before your road trip. A career action plan is a guideline that helps you track your goals, set realistic timeframes, identify next steps, and stay focused on your career goal. It’s a tool that will help you arrive at your destination. 

Depending on your goals for school or work, action plans may vary to focus on job searches, further education, or lifestyle activities. As a general compass, your career action plan can include sections like: 

  • A statement of what you want to achieve
    • I want to secure an internship at X. company for summer 2021
  • Preparatory steps 
    • In order to secure that internship, I have to prepare my portfolio, and practice x. 
  • The education or certifications needed
    • In order to secure that internship, I must secure CPR certification
  • A time-frame for action
    • I have 4 months to obtain an internship before school starts again.

What should my action plan look like?

Everyone’s action plans will look different! There is no set format. Yours might include different sections, more specific steps, or a more general outline. The most important part of the career plan is that each part prompts you to take action in establishing your goals. 

Whether you like to create colourful lists, type out Microsoft docs, or go at it with a box of crayons, try creating your career action plan, in whatever form works best for you. It’s necessary to revisit your plan every so often in order to stay motivated or reevaluate your next step, so keep your plan handy as you navigate your career journey. 

What’s next?

If you need some help getting started, reach out to your network! It’s always helpful to talk to mentors in your field or other professionals you admire. Sometimes it’s helpful to know that they wrote their career action plan with Crayola pencils, too. You’re not alone. Everyone started somewhere. 

There are also career advisors at the RCCC who can help you create, change, or move forward with your goals. Your career action plan is just one of the many cornerstones in your career development. 

Are you ready to get started? 


Photo by Richard Clyborne of Music Strive