Career Planning


Career Planning is essential to help to understand what we need to do to carry out our current role but also to understand what we might do to help progress to a new role.  While the University and your manager will support you, ultimately your development is your own responsibility. Taking time to focus on your own development and being proactive about it can help keep track of your career progress. It’s important to keep up to date on what we need to do so that we are well placed to take advantage of opportunities when they arise.‌

There are a number of supports available to you as you navigate your career path here in UCD.


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 Stage 1 - Self Assessment - Where Do I Want To Go?

Firstly it’s important to know yourself.  To create a professional development plan, you need to know your starting point. Using a Career Planning - Personal SWOT Analysis (Strengths Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) can be helpful.  

There are a number of other useful resources. For example, UCD has a clear Job Families Framework for Professional and Administrative Roles. One of the many benefits of this Job Families Framework is the ability to provide a Career & Development Planning Tool giving visibility of the range of roles and potential career paths across UCD. This gives a clear and consistent description of competencies required for different roles, to help plan your development and career. It is an essential reference point to help you understand where you are and where you might like to progress to. 


Stage 2 - How do I get there?

As you develop an understanding of your career path, there are some things to keep in mind.

It is important to remember the 70:20:10 rule i.e. that development encompasses much more than structured training (Lombardo & Eichinger, 1996). A great deal of our learning happens outside formal training.  

  • 70% of learning happens on the job (experiential)
  • 20% happens in social interactions (from others i.e. your line manager or peers/colleague/mentors)
  • 10% happens in structured learning (courses and reading)

For those using the Job Families framework, you will have a clear idea of the skills and competencies you might need to develop to help you to progress to the next stage of your career. See our Personal & Professional Development options for our range of training courses to further develop competency levels.  You might even decide to undertake further study or you may be eligible for the Conference Allowance

Having regular feedback meetings with your line manager is also a useful way to ensure that you are on track with meeting your objectives and also enables you to identify opportunities to flex and develop your skills

Most importantly keep a log of your successes, achievements and new learning. Don’t just wait for an interview to gather this information. Be ready to avail of an opportunity and be prepared.  


Stage 3 - Who can help me?

Your line manager can help you focus on and develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed for your current role.

You may want to consider if there is someone who could mentor you?  Is there someone you admire in the University for how they have navigated their career that you might benefit from having a discussion with? Perhaps see if they would be willing to mentor you?  Another option is to consider coaching. Coaching is a 1-1 process that helps individuals think through their options in relation to a range of situations they may be facing in the workplace. Go to Coaching and Mentoring in UCD for more information. 

Finally don’t forget to network – is there someone in your wider circle who may be able to help you in reaching your goals or could connect you with someone who can?   Who can you ask for help or advice?


Stage 4 - How do I present myself?

If you are considering applying for a job or going for interview, from time to time we offer Career Planning & Interview Skills training.  See People Development on UCD Connect for upcoming courses.  

In addition, sometimes our coaches may be available to provide some interview skills support so please contact  Please note this is a limited service.