Carnegie Mellon University

Career Planning

Where to Begin

How would you answer the age old interview question, "Where do you want to be in ten years?" Whether you are considering short-term career goals or making long-term plans, there is value in stepping back and creating a plan. Having a plan can keep you motivated and engaged in your work.






Professional Development


Set Goals
Pursue Opportunities

Building Competence

Once you have identified the skills and abilities associated with your career goals, you can begin to develop those competencies. A competency is defined as a demonstrable performance or behavior that is grounded in content and context. There are three components to competency, and each component is demonstrated by specific behavioral indicators:

— Cognitive Skills — This is your ability to analyze; see the importance of observations and events; think critically; analyze solutions and anticipate future events; select the best course of action and problem solve.

— Psychomotor Skills — This is your ability to perform physical tasks; utilize muscle memory to complete routine tasks; and develop skills through job training.

— Interpersonal Skills — This is your ability to work and interact with others.

Through the professional development resources available, including CompetentU, you can identify ways to support your professional growth and demonstrate your commitment to your career plan.

Mentors and More

Building relationships is important to your work and your career. Mentoring relationships can be established through formal programs such as A Day in the Life, Staff Council and the Carnegie Mellon Women's Association. Informal mentoring relationships can come from project teams, supervisors and colleagues. When thinking about mentoring, it is helpful to consider how you can contribute to the relationship you are building in addition to what you might gain.

Optimizing Opportunities

It is more than just a job. It is sometimes easy to get caught up in the transactional day-to-day work that you do. However, you are part of a dynamic and innovative educational community. Exploring ways to align your career interests with your daily activities allows you to not only build the skills you seek to develop but also integrate them into your work.