How often do you switch careers in your life span? If you’re like the majority of people, you’ll hop on from one career to another at least quite a few times in your lifetime. How well you thrive while shifting among careers can be partially credited to how well you have developed a career plan. Every candidate who wants a good job needs to take out some time from their regular grind of work in order to spend quality time pondering on their career and developing at least few plans for the future.
Whether you are in love with your present job and employer or undergo frustration and feel restrained by your job, career planning can be of huge assistance. Consider career planning as building bridges from your present career/job to your next career/job; without a well constructed bridge, you may easily lose or stumble on your way, but with the proper bridge there is direction as well as safety.
This article presents you with few basic guiding principles for successful career planning.
1. Starting point:
Analyze your present situation. Before you can start any planning, realistically and clearly spot your starting point. You should have a clear understanding of where you are and your current situation.
2. Present lifestyle and future lifestyle:
Reflect on your current and future lifestyle. Are you content with your present lifestyle? Do you wish to maintain it or transform it? Be sure to recognize the key features of your ideal way of life. Does your present career path permit you the lifestyle you seek?
3. Likes and dislikes:
Ponder over your likes/dislikes. What type of activities, both at play and at work, do you cherish the most? What type of activities do you tend to avoid? Make a neat list of both types of venture. Now analyze your present job and career path in terms of the list you made. Does your present job contain more likes or dislikes?
4. Know your passion:
Analyze on what thrills you the most. Things that drive you. Reflect on the situations and time in which you felt most passionate, most engaged, most energetic – and spot a common outline of these situations. Jot down whatever you’re most passionate about. Reflect on how often these things occur while you are at work.
5. Strengthens, skills and weakness:
Analyze your skills and weaknesses. Step back and study yourself from an employer’s viewpoint. What exactly are your strengths? Classify your weakness. Think in terms of skill development, work experience, technical knowledge, education/training, personal characteristics, abilities and talent.
6. Definition of success:
What according to you is success? Take out some time and think about how exactly you define success. What success means to you? Is it power, wealth, control, contentment or something else?
7. Examine yourself:
Reflect on your personality. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Do you prefer thinking or doing? Do you like changes or routine? Do you like being on the move or sitting comfortable behind the desk? Take out some time to examine yourself first, and then go ahead take one or more of such self-assessment tests.
8. Dream job:
Reflect on your dream job. Try to remember those essays you were supposed to write as a kid – what you wish to become once you grow up? Take out some time to reminisce on those idyllic times and brainstorm about your dream job; make sure you don’t let any negative thoughts cloud your judgment. Look for ideas and facts internally, but also denote some time to research/explore other occupations/career that interests you. Jot down your main career interest/dream job.
Career Planning Steps:
1. Carry out a detailed career research and collect vital information on the careers that interests you the most.
2. Categorize your next career move. Having examined several career paths, it is time to narrow down the options and focus your attention on any one or two careers.
3. Pinpoint the required qualifications and skills you should have to progress to the next step in your career or to make the move to a fresh career path. If you’re not yet sure, search job ads and postings, conduct some informational interviews, research on job descriptions.
4. Compare your present profile with the qualifications enumerated in step 3. How different are these two profiles? If they match fairly well, it might be time to switch to a job search. If they are far apart then is it possible for you to realistically achieve the desired qualifications in short-term? If the answer to this question is yes, go ahead and move to the next step; if no, consider going back to the first step.
5. Build up a plan to get qualified. Sit down and make a list of the various qualifications you ought to enhance for the next career move, like – receiving additional training, experience or certification. Develop action plans and a timeline for attaining each type.
6. Jot down any further knowledge, skills, or experiences that you may need to acquire that can help you directly or indirectly in your career development (current or future positions).
7. Write down the checkpoints to access your growth and decide how exactly you are going to meet your set goals. You can also have progress checkpoints with friends, managers, or do them by yourself. The bottom line is that you should make sure that either you or someone you know is keeping a check on your career development plan goals.
8. Note down any barriers or hurdles that you could face that may stop you from attaining your career plan goals. When you categorize these hurdles, do write down steps and ways that will help you to defeat these hurdles.
A successful career plan is a purposeful and orderly method for investigating where you really are in your career, determining where you would like to be and then incorporating smart goal setting to reach there. These tips will definitely help you in developing a successful career plan.