Career planning is extremely crucial, and an overwhelming task frequently skipped by most people in their professional lives. Take control of your career journey through proper planning so that you are not leaving things to destiny. There are several benefits of career planning that is
- It helps in identifying your goals and objectives both in your personal and professional life.
- It saves your time and energy by avoiding going for a profession that does not align with your goals and abilities.
- It makes you confident in decision making for future endeavours.
- Creates a clear path to follow, which leads to success in your life.
This article will help you practically plan your career. Career planning is a long term and everlasting process of setting professional goals, and objectives and finding different ways to achieve them through self-evaluation, market research, and continuous learning. It is an important exercise to manage your career successfully.
Here are 7 Steps for successful career planning:
Let’s have a look at the 7 Steps for successful career planning.
Before choosing the right career, you must learn about yourself through self-assessment on different parameters like your values, interests, soft skills, technical skills, abilities, and aptitudes, in combination with your personality type. Use self-assessment tools, often called career tests, to gather information about your traits and, subsequently, generate a list of occupations that are a good fit based on the test. Some people coordinate with a career counsellor or other career development professionals who can help them navigate this process.
Exploration of different occupations
Multiple lists of occupations are generated by each of the self-assessment tools or career tests. To keep yourself organized, you should combine the list of occupations into one master list. First, look for careers that appear on multiple lists and copy them onto a blank page. Title it “Occupations to Explore.” Your self-assessment indicated they are a good fit for you based on several of your traits, so definitely consider them. Next, find any occupations on your lists that appeal to you. They may be careers you know a bit about and want to explore further. Also, include professions about which you don’t know much. You might learn something unexpected. Add those to your master list.
Seek the Occupations on Your List
Get some basic information about each of the occupations mentioned on your list. You will get excited to know that you managed to narrow your list down to only 10 to 20 options! From published sources, check the job descriptions and educational, training and licensing requirements. Use government-produced labour market information to get data about earnings and job outlook.
Create a “Short List”
At this point, it comes time to narrow down your list even more. Based on what you learned from your research so far, start eliminating the careers you don’t want to pursue any further. You should end up with fewer than two to five occupations on your “shortlist.”Cross those careers off your list which are unacceptable or non-negotiable. Remove those whose duties don’t appeal to you. Eliminate careers that have weak job outlooks. Get rid of that occupation that does not meet the educational qualifications, skills or other requirements.
Conduct Informational Interviews
With the list of a few occupations left on your list, start doing more in-depth research. Arrange to meet with people who work in the occupations you are interested in. They can provide firsthand knowledge about the careers on your shortlist. Access your network of friends, family and colleagues, including LinkedIn, to find people with whom to have these informational interviews.
Formation of Your Career Choice
In the end, after doing all your research, you are probably ready to make your choice. Pick the occupation that you think will bring you the most satisfaction based on all the gathered information. You are allowed to do overs if you change your mind about your choice at any point in your life. Many people change their careers at least a few times.
Discover your Goals
After making your career choice, identify your long- and short-term goals. Long-term goals take a duration of about three to five years to reach; a short-term goal takes six months to three years. Let the research you did be your guide. Do some more research if you don’t have all the details. Once you have all the information you need, set your goals. An example of a long-term goal would be completing your education and training. Short-term goals include applying to college or training programs, doing internships and apprenticeships.
Create a career action plan, a written document that lays out all the steps you will have to take to reach your goals. Think of it as a roadmap that will take you from point A to B and then to C and D. Write down all your short- and long-term goals and the steps you will have to take to reach each one. Include any anticipated barriers that could get in the way of achieving your goals and the ways you can overcome them. When you’re ready to start applying for jobs in your new industry, be sure to write a cover letter that reflects your aspirations, as well as a resume that is refocused based on your new goals.