Developing Your Career Plan

At LDS Employment Resource Services (LDS Jobs), we'll help you become gainfully employed through education and networking with local companies.

A career plan is a set of goals and actions that will lead you to your ultimate long-term career goal. It involves choosing an occupation and developing a plan of the steps it will take you to get to that occupation. It is a plan for temporary and long-term self-reliance.

If you are seeking new employment opportunities, you might seek assistance discovering additional training, writing a résumé, preparing for an interview, or identifying potential job leads and networking contacts. Ideally, you should meet with your bishop before working on your plan.

Consider the following four career elements:

1. Career Objective with a Desired Income Target

Identify the career you would like to pursue. This career choice should be one that is practical and one that will meet your financial needs. The objective should be based on your interests and abilities.

Consider the following questions when contemplating a career objective:

  • What are your natural skills and abilities?
  • How has your work history utilized these skills and abilities?
  • If training, education, and experience didn’t matter, what would you like to do for a living? Are you interested in learning how to do that?

If you cannot identify a career objective, you may want to call upon your priesthood or Relief Society leaders to help you or receive assistance from your ward employment or self-reliance specialist. You might also seek additional assistance from an employment resource center or self-reliance center. 

Determine the income level required to meet your family’s financial obligations. You may need to develop a spending plan if one is not in place. You may ask the employment specialist to help you with this.

Determine whether your desired career choice will meet your financial obligations:

  • Do you have a current spending plan?
  • How much additional income would be required for you to live within your current spending plan?
  • Is your desired career one that is in demand or decline?
  • Does your career choice typically produce the income required by your spending plan?

Your priesthood and Relief Society leaders can help you develop a spending plan or answer any of the above questions. You might consider seeking assistance from qualified professional help. If you need further assistance, you may be referred to LDS Employment Resource or Self-Reliance Services.

Consider this: If you are not making enough money, you may want to develop a spending plan instead of finding new employment. Maybe you have financially overextended yourself. By selling unnecessary assets, reducing expenses, or canceling unnecessary services, you might be better able to live within your means.

2. Needs

The next step is identifying how to achieve your established career objective and overcome any possible obstacles.


  • Specific steps required to reach your desired career objective
  • Circumstances that have been, or might become, obstacles in meeting your career objective, such as a lack of child care or transportation.
  • Other obstacles that might unexpectedly arise.

You may need to meet several times with your specialist to determine all needs. Other needs will typically be discovered as you continue the planning process.

Consider the following questions to determine immediate and long-term needs:

  • Will additional training or education be required in order to reach your career objective?
  • How long will it take to obtain the required training?
  • How have you typically found employment in the past?
  • Who do you know in your desired career field?
  • Do you feel comfortable discussing your career objective with others?
  • Do you have a current résumé? How effective is your résumé in obtaining interviews?

Each of these needs should be included as future actions on your career plan. If you need help seeking additional training or education, first seek help from your Church leaders. You may be recommended to attend the Career Workshop, which can help you identify networking or job leads.

3. Resources

A resource is something or someone that can be used to support or help you reach your career objective or other long-term self-reliance needs. Your priesthood or Relief Society leaders can be helpful in identifying these resources.

Think of the following:

  • Who do you know that might be able to help you with this specific need?
  • Are you aware of any community organizations that help people with similar needs?
  • How do others with similar challenges resolve them?
  • How would overcoming this challenge help you reach your career goal?

Think of contacts who could help you satisfy your employment and self-reliance needs. These resources can come from within ward or stake boundaries. They may also come from Church welfare operations or other community resources.

4. Action Plan

You and others helping you may be required to take specific actions to help you accomplish your goal. With each action step, identify:

  • What action needs to take place?
  • Who can assist you in fulfilling the assignment?
  • When is each assignment to be completed?
  • When should completed assignments be reported?

Personal ownership is crucial in developing self-reliance. You are responsible to take each assignment and report progress to priesthood or Relief Society leaders.

Sample Career Plan

 Career Goal:

 Become a registered nurse

 Desired Income:


 Current Skills and Interests:

  • Phlebotomy certification
  • Working on CNA certification
  • Working for Littlewood Senior Care Center
  • High school biology and chemistry classes, A- average
  • Volunteer at Friend Time—a facility for children with disabilities


  • Training in nursing school, related on-the-job experience
  • Bachelor’s degree not necessary, but helpful
  • Good communication skills
  • Learn and think quickly and precisely
  • Willing to help others

 Plan to Reach Career Goal:

  • Finish CNA certification
  • Apply through the local university or applied technology center
  • Continue working at Littlewood Senior Care Center
  • Volunteer at the local hospital 10 hours per week
  • Shadow an RN at least once a month


  • Funding for RN degree
  • Daycare for 2-year-old child
  • Transportation to university from work

 How to Overcome:

  • Apply for scholarships and grants
  • Keep working in the care center
  • Learn about the Perpetual Education Fund
  • Find daycare centers or family members for childcare
  • Drive a car or ride a bike from the university to work


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