Are you someone who leaves for a trip without a clear set of directions to help you reach your destination? You may prefer the spontaneity of finding your own way. I don't. The possibility of getting lost just makes me too nervous. Not only do I need good directions, I prefer to plan an alternate route as well. After all, a road may be closed or there may be heavy traffic and I would have to go a different way. Having a plan in place will keep me from getting lost (hopefully) and having an alternate plan will save me the trouble of having to stop at a gas station to ask for directions. Of course, I sometimes stray from my route because I decide to stop somewhere along the way. Then I have adjust my plans.
Even if you rather not have directions when you embark on a road trip, you shouldn't forgo them when it comes to your career. And like those driving directions, a set of alternate directions could come in handy too. A career action plan is a road map to your future. You should develop one as soon as you decide what occupation to pursue. In your career action plan you will identify the steps you need to take to become employed in your chosen field. You should take it further than that and include in your plan the steps you will eventually have to take in order to grow your career.
Your career action plan should be flexible. Things change. The career choice that seems perfect for you today may not be so a few years down the road. The economy, as the last several years have shown us, can change. This could necessitate a remapping of your plans. Your own life circumstances can change or you may simply decide that the career you picked isn't right for you anymore. That too would require amending your career action plan.