Build your personal career plan

Create your own online action plan to kickstart your career. Explore options, review goals and adapt to reflect your progress.

Start building your career plan

If you have a Xello account

You may have a Xello account if you are using this site through your school or college. Xello helps you explore career possibilities, pathways and personalised lessons.

Get help creating an online action plan to achieve school, career and life goals. And then review and adapt your plan to reflect your progress.

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If you don’t have a Xello account

A career plan is just a way of thinking about your future – it helps you work out where you want to go and how to get there. Start by exploring the rest of the site:

Then use our career plan tips below to create your own plan.

Career plan tips & tools

Make a list of what you like and enjoy. What interests you? What are you passionate about? What motivates you? How do you like spending your spare time?

Are there any common themes? How do the items on your list fit together?

See what’s out there. For example, if you want to work with animals, look at the different jobs and routes you can follow.

Some jobs have set routes to qualify, so decisions you make now can affect your choices later. For example, some university courses require certain A-level subjects. And check deadlines – some schemes and courses recruit just once a year.

Whether you’ve got a path in mind or are just looking at your next move, write down a few action points to help you get there.

Before you skip straight to your plan, take a look at the other steps above as you may discover ideas you hadn’t thought about before.

Try things out to see what you like and build your experience. Holiday jobs, volunteering, and work shadowing will all help give you a better idea of what you want to do.

Tick off actions as you go and review and refresh your plan to reflect your progress.

Tips from employers

Sean Nunn, Branch Manager, Nationwide

“When recruiting, I look for those young people who not only have good interview skills but those who can also draw on different experiences and extra-curricular activities that make them stand out.”

Bill Lovat, Regional Director East, Regenda Homes

“Skills are vital to us, but we truly value the right attitude and the readiness to learn and take on new challenges. What do you want to do, why, and what can you bring to the table?”

Nicola Tyson, Lightfoot, Social Value Manager, Wilmott Dixon

“We always promote work experience as it’s a great way to get an insight into working at Willmott Dixon! If you have spare time, volunteer and get as much experience as you can!”

Andy Lovatt, Managing Director, Digital Advantage

“As an employer and training provider, some of the attributes we look for in young people are: resilience - being able to take setbacks constructively; ambition - a desire to “get on” and make the most of their talents; and a positive mind set with an openness and willingness to learn.”

What are the top career sectors in
Greater Manchester?

Finance Officer

Job Description

Finance officers help to manage the finances of an organisation by keeping track of its income and controlling its spending. This may include recording financial transactions and producing financial forecasts, arranging payroll, invoices and expenses. Finance officers may also create regular financial reports and budgets.

Explore this sector All sectors
Salary Range

£18,500 - £40,000

Working environment

Most finance officers work in an office environment, but you can work in any industry, from banking to creative and media organisations.


Minimum 35 hours a week


The skills and experience you build as a finance officer could enable you to work in many different industries. With experience, finance officers could train to become an accountant or move up to a senior officer role or finance manager.

Marketing Executive

Job Description

Marketing executives promote a company's products, services or brand. They do this through researching customer thoughts and feelings and market trends to inform campaigns. They write content for print, such as adverts and magazines, they organise and promote events and marketing campaigns online and via social media.

Explore this sector All sectors
Salary Range

£18,000- £35,000

Working environment

Usually office based.


Minimum 37 hours with evening and weekend work


Marketing executives could progress into management and also cross into online and digital marketing. Other opportunities may include freelancing, advertising, or public relations and communications.

Community Nurse

Job Description

District or community nurses mainly visit patients at home. They can be assisted by nursing auxiliaries who may visit to assist with tasks which need two workers. Their role involves things such as: support for patient and carer after hospital discharge, assist in coordinating care needs and ensuring equality of health care for vulnerable people.

Explore this sector All sectors
Salary Range

£23,213- £30,178

Working environment

You could work in a variety of different environments such as clinics and health centres, residential accommodation and patients’ homes.


Minimum 37 hours usually in shifts.


Some nurses feel so at home in a community nurse job that they apply there as a newly qualified nurse. Whichever you choose, there are so many different nursing specialities to explore and career paths to choose from, you will never run out of options.

CNC Machinist

Job Description

Computer numerically controlled (CNC) machinists make precision parts for the engineering and manufacturing industries. Programming the CNC machine tool with data taken from technical drawings, working out the most efficient order to carry out machining tasks, choosing the right tools for each stage, setting the cutting speeds and tolerance levels, operating the machine, checking the work meets quality and technical standards, maintaining equipment.

Explore this sector All sectors
Salary Range


Working environment

You could work in a factory


42-44 hours per week, you could work evening/ weekends and shifts


With experience and further training, you could move into a supervisory role. You could also move into quality inspection or become an engineering technician.

Software Developer

Job Description

A software developer talks through requirements with the client and the development team. They take part in technical design and progress meetings, writing or amending computer code, testing software and fixing problems, keeping accurate records of the development process, changes and results, carrying out trials and quality checks before release, maintaining and supporting systems once they're up and running.

Alternative titles for this job include Programmer Software developers design, build and test computer programs for business, education and leisure services.

Explore this sector All sectors
Salary Range

£20,000 - £70,000

Working environment

You could work at a client's business or in an office.


37 to 40 hours per week including evenings and weekends


With experience, you could become a senior developer or a project manager, with planning or research responsibilities. You could move into related areas like systems design, IT architecture and business systems analysis.

You could also set up your own business or work as a consultant in most areas of the economy, for example business services, finance, cyber security, telecommunications and healthcare.

Electrical Engineer

Job Description

Electrical engineers design, build and maintain electrical systems, machinery and equipment. For example, local projects to generate electricity using wind or solar power.

Engineers are likely to draw up plans and circuit diagrams, estimate costs and project timings, test installations and make sure they're are safe.

Explore this sector All sectors
Salary Range

£20,000 - £60,000

Working environment

You could work in a factory, at a power station, in a workshop, at a research facility or in an office.


35 - 40 hours a week


Electrical engineers can learn their skills either through university, college or an apprenticeship. You could work in different industries, from power and renewable energy to transport, construction and manufacturing.

Apprenticeships across Greater Manchester

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Education & training

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