Do you leave for a trip without a clear set of directions to help you get to your destination? You may prefer the spontaneity of finding your own way but I don't. The possibility of getting lost is too stressful. I want to have good directions, as well as alternative routes to help me out if a road is closed or there is heavy traffic. 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 to make some adjustments.
Even if you prefer not have directions when you set off on a road trip, you shouldn't forgo them when it comes to your career. And as with 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.