Career Planning In 10 Steps
Career planning is an essential aspect of success. Whether you are a fresh graduate or you are working for quite a number of years and are about to dive into a career change, having a career plan is necessary. Plans not only guide you to a specific direction but also allows you to identify measures to achieve your goals, make the most out of your resources, and track your progress.
How then can you effectively tackle your career plans?
Think of your career plan the same way you would think of a business plan. First, you must know what you want and the rest of the steps will surely come easy. Questions you should ask yourself include:
✓ What are my long-term goals?
✓ What do I need to do to achieve my career goals?
✓ How long will it take me to get there?
Once you have covered these issues, creating a concise career plan comes next.
10 Steps in Creating A Career Plan
- Assess yourself
As previously mentioned, the key to having an effective career plan is knowing what you want. By evaluating yourself, you are able to identify both your strengths and weaknesses. You are also able to describe the kind of job and working environment that you love to do and be a part of. When you know your motivations, your personal attributes, your lifestyle priorities and how your family, friends and colleagues see you professionally, lining up your career plan would be breezy.
- Identify your credentials
Your future employer will not merely believe on what you say you can do and instead look deeper into your credentials. This is why it is crucial to highlight your educational attainment along with your awards and training certificates on your resume as these will speak for themselves. Just keep them brief yet concise so you still have something left to elaborate during the interview.
Another thing to note before you apply for your dream job is whether you are qualified or not. You will know right away if you a fit for the job upon reading the requirements and comparing it to your credentials. If otherwise, put off your confidence until you reach steps 3 or 5.
- Analyse your skills
Now, for instances when your credentials (i.e. educational background and/or work experience) cannot suffice the job requirements yet your self-evaluated skills can get the job done, go for it! There are instances when the hiring manager gives chances to inexperienced job seekers or applicants with inadequate credentials especially when they are able to justify their skills during the interview. As experts in their fields, hiring managers can sense real skills over mere confidence. After all, you know yourself better. However, it pays to put someone as your character reference who knows that you can do what you claim you can.
- Set and commit to a time frame
All these career planning measures will be useless if you will not specify and commit to a time frame. By breaking down your career goals into smaller chunks and allotting a time period of completion, you will be able to see your progress and make your career journey simpler. So, instead of focusing to your end goal, have monthly, quarterly, and yearly career plans.
- Gain experience
Experience is the best teacher and nobody will contest it. Acquire as much experience as you can while you are young. Just make sure that you don’t stray or jump from one job to a different one because you will definitely end up failing. Other than enhancing your knowledge and skills by getting a related job, you can also choose to undergo step 7 while working.
- Have a mentor
This is one of the wisest moves you can make as you plan and work for your career. Surround yourself with people older than you who do the profession you aim. Surely, you will learn a lot from their experiences plus you get free firsthand training and tips from experts too! Another way you can be mentored is by signing up with a company or organisation that offers internship program (just like Career of The Day). They can help you land a real job and can guide you in planning your career.
- Undergo training and further your studies
Whether you are presently employed or not, choosing to further your studies and/or undergo various trainings and workshops related to your chosen field is one great option. Not only will you be updated with the latest trends in your field and develop your knowledge and skills but these can also add up to your list of credentials.
- Build your own network
Networking is a crucial skill to possess no matter what you do in life. In your case, being a professional with high hopes and dreams, building your network offers more than just connections. Success is contagious, so if you are smart enough to surround yourself with successful people and pioneers in your field then the greater your chances to succeed is! Having this kind of network will teach you everything you need to know and open opportunities as well.
- Grab succession opportunities
Succession planning means taking advantage of opportunities wherein you will be trained to take over a position that will be vacated. Companies do this internally to give way to deserving employees rather than posting the job vacancy publicly. So, if chances like this arise, go grab it and learn.
- Take advantage even of lateral transfers
Lastly, there will come a time when you have stayed too long in the company and see no professional progress at all. Your best option is to be transferred to a different department even if it is just lateral. Come to think of it as a brand new learning opportunity for you so you don’t stagnate and lose motivation.