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Career Planning

Career planning is the route to career success.  Career planning can be an exciting adventure.  It begins the moment you start thinking of what your future occupation will be.

The adventure starts as you chart your course, learn about the terrain, and create a map of where you want to go.  It can be very scary, and it takes some work, but once you learn the career planning steps, the process can be as easy as 1-2-3. And there is always help available along the way.

Take a moment to go through the five steps below and start the journey.

Step 1: Self-Assessment

Look into yourself to discover your interests, skills and personality.  You can also ask friends, family members, teachers, or mentors if they see the same qualities in you as you see in yourself. Self-assessment simply means asking yourself the following questions:

  • What do I like to do?
  • What activities do I find fun, motivating, interesting and enjoyable?
  • What skills ad abilities do I have or want to develop?
  • What personal style or characteristics do I have that are important to me in the workplace?
  • What purpose or goal do I want to accomplish in my career?
    You can use a self-assessment tool such as The Career Key.

Step 2: Career Exploration

Investigate all the career choices, options and opportunities available to you.  Attend career fairs, visit a career centre in your school or your community, talk to people in various careers, shadow or spend time one day with people in careers that interest you.  Ask them, How did you get started in this career? What is a typical day like? What type of training or education is required?

Step 3: Goal Setting

Set goals for yourself. Look at the careers that interest you. Ask yourself, What do I have to do to prepare for these careers? How much education or training does it take to prepare for each one of them?  After you gather information about education and training, set goals for yourself to attain the required training.

Step 4: Taking Action

Make an action plan. Ask yourself, What do I have to do to get there? If you’re in school, review your courses and curriculum, register for the right classes and maintain the necessary grades for your goals.  Get the right experience, internships or volunteer opportunities to be accepted into the programmes of your choice.  Make an action plan for job hunting that includes networking.

Step 5: Evaluation

Evaluate your plan periodically.  This is important as you move ahead in your planning.  Remember, it’s rarely too late to move in another direction or to add more exposure or opportunities to your career plan.  Ask yourself, Am I on the right track? Is there new information I need to investigate?

When needed, go through the steps again.  Each time you will learn more about yourself and more about the career possibilities awaiting you.

These steps can also help if you have to change careers mid-stream – whether by choice or by necessity.  Many people have more than one career path.  See where yours takes you.

Further reading: What is phychometric Testing?