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Career planning, often viewed as most relevant for school leavers and university graduates, is now considered just as important for mid-life and later-life careers. It is not only relevant for career success but also for understanding work options, expanding occupational choice, increasing employability and job mobility, improving salaries, engaging in continuous re-skilling and extending working lives.

So, it is increasingly important for all individuals to plan for the future, especially for those who have limited qualifications or are employed in declining industries or occupations.  Yet many adults do not actively plan for their career and often a change of career direction is a reactive process undertaken when a crisis occurs (e.g. loss of job, ill health).

This study reveals that many adults do not appear to understand that the evolving nature of the labour market necessitates individuals to continuously improve their skills, which requires individuals to plan and manage their career.  Due to its critical role in supporting mature age participation, greater recognition of the importance of career planning is needed to encourage mature age people to proactively plan for their career and consider ongoing learning options before a crisis hits. 

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