When you have a career, you should always strive to develop your skills and knowledge. Sometimes you may hit a point where you feel your career is stagnating or not moving in the direction you had hoped. A useful tool to help you move forward is a Career Gap Analysis.
A career gap is the difference between where you currently are in your career goals and where you would like to be. Doing an analysis can help you to bridge that gap by helping you to develop a plan that is actionable.
What is a Career Gap Analysis?
A career gap analysis helps you to work out what actions you need to take, what your weaknesses and strengths are, and can help you to prioritize the different gaps in your career development. The amount of gaps in your career is dependant upon the type and size of the career changes you are considering. This means, the bigger the change you want to make, the bigger the gap will be.
How to do a Career Gap Analysis
The process of doing a career gap analysis can be structured, unstructured, or a bit of both. One easy way to get started is to create 3 columns on a piece of paper or spreadsheet. The first column should be for where you want to be, the middle for the gap, and the last column for where you currently are. This can further be separated into rows of categories. The categories you list will be specific to your goals.
You can download one of our templates or samples of a Career Gap Analysis to get a better idea of how to use one.
There are two main gaps that you want to look for when doing your analysis; the competency gap and position gap. The competency gaps will look at what knowledge, skills, and experiences you will need to work on, and the position gaps focus on your current position and your desired future position.
Things to consider as you do your career gap analysis
There are some things that you should ask yourself as you are working through your career gap analysis:
- What you know about the position you want to work towards
- What work you will need to do to reach that position
- What your responsibilities and role will be
- What skills, knowledge, competencies, and experiences you need to take into consideration
- What level of competency, skills, knowledge, and experiences you will need to make that position a success (you don’t just want to reach the goal but hold on to it as well)
- What, if any, are the unique skills that will be needed, like technical skills, special language skills? Are there any unique competencies such as specific technical skills or language skills, for example.
Once you have everything listed, you can assess what your key gaps are. You will get a better idea of the size of the change you will need to make and the actions you need to take to bridge that gap. Here are some examples of the scope of some career changes.
- Developing yourself further in your current position (includes things like taking on more responsibilities, being more pro-active, etc.)
- Making a move to a new job or position within the same company/profession/area
- Making a move to a new job or position in a new profession/area
- Changing jobs to a new company
Assessing your career skills
Part of a career gap analysis is assessing your skills and any gaps there are. You can do this in 4-steps:
- Finding gaps and then going over these with a manager
- Prioritizing those gaps and creating a plan of action to develop skills
- Monitor your gap plan
You can assess your skills by gathering together as much info as possible regarding the competencies and skills needed for your career. You can then organize those into categories, such as technical skills, leadership skills, and functional skills. Figure out what your current level is in regard to these competencies.
You can now generate your gaps and review these with a manager to gain some feedback and perspective. Start off by assigning a target skill level for the different areas of competency in both your future position and the current one. The difference between the two is your skill gap.
Your next step is to prioritize your gaps into which are most important and create an action plan to close those gaps. Your plan should outline the strategies you are going to be using to do this. Keep in mind that there are different approaches to help develop your skill gaps, so find the ones that work best for you.
Monitoring your plan
Your last step is to regularly monitor your progress and periodically do self-assessments to see where you are in relation to the gap you are working to close. This will help give you a clear view of the progress you are making over time.
Free Templates & Examples
Career Gap Analysis Example,
Gap Analysis Career Action Plan Example
Career Gap Analysis Sample
Career Skill Gap Analysis Example
Career Growth Gap Analysis Example
Career Gap Analysis Template
Frequently Asked Questions
A career gap analysis will help you to identify the differences between current qualifications and skill levels to what requirements and skills are needed for the career or job you are considering. You can then create an action plan to bridge the gap.
This is a written document that lays out all of your current skills and at what level the skills are at. It also shows you what skills you will need to reach your job or career goals, where your gaps are, and what you need to do to develop the skills needed.
Your personal skills are the things that you do well, and with a certain level of proficiency and competence. These types of skills are acquired through our direct training and experiences.
The top five skills are leadership skills, interpersonal skills, problem-solving skills, motivational skills, and efficiency skills.