Career planning involves identifying your educational skills, training, talents, and values and learning to translate them into a career.
Career planning isn’t a one-time thing that you do and forget. It’s something you should repeatedly do to increase your chances of success in your career path.
The process entails self-improvement and choosing certain professional goals and pathways. Career planning is very essential as it helps you obtain data, get the expertise, create goals, and take action. Career planning takes time, evaluation, and hard work, which can be overwhelming given an average worker changes career paths more than five times. Fortunately, this article outlines important tips to plan your career.
- Evaluate Your Past Experiences
When planning for a new career, it can be tempting to hit the ground and start running. However, it’s essential to take some time to reflect on your past achievements and failures to determine what worked for you and where you got challenges over your past careers. It helps you learn more about yourself and what you can do to boost the growth of your next career.
Past reflection applies to those with or without esteemed job satisfaction. It helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses, which is crucial to your career and the organization at large. Also, evaluate your likes and dislikes in your new career path and your work-related ideas and beliefs. If you’re overwhelmed with your past experiences and don’t know what to do with the realization, consider seeking help from job seekers.
- Have An Updated Resume
Having an updated curriculum vitae is one of the key things in career planning. An updated resume allows you to bounce on opportunities whenever they present themselves. Therefore, despite your career level, learn how to write an attractive resume and remember to update it regularly.
Even when you’ve secured a new job in a new career path, always have your resume on point, as you don’t know when the next opportunity will appear. A resume not only helps you during job applications but also helps you keep track of essential accomplishments at work. Therefore, if you wait longer to update it, you’re bound to forget important skills and certifications you once achieved.
- Explore Different Careers
Researching different careers helps you identify the occupations that complement your skills and experience. You can use online resources to compile a list of job characteristics that you want in your new career. Also, learn about job duties, outlook, market information, median salary, and educational and training requirements. Using this information, you can begin eliminating career fields that don’t excite you and research more on those careers that you like.
- Explore And Experiment With The Careers
After choosing your list, consider using your professional network to find people who are already on that career path for more insights. Then look for ways to try out these careers in person. The best ways include informative interviews, job shadowing, volunteering, and part-time work.
Informative interviews allow you to enquire about anything you need to know about the desired field from the experts. You can enquire about the education levels, experience required and other relevant aspects. Informational interviews also help you build professional networks within the new career path.
Job shadowing entails spending some days or weeks following and observing how a professional does the job. You can accompany them to meetings to learn how they present their work. During this period, ask questions to familiarize yourself further with the job.
Volunteering entails finding an opportunity to work for free to gain relevant experience in your desired role. It can help you determine whether the role or industry suits your preferences. On the other hand, part-time work involves finding a junior role in a company that helps you interact with professionals in your desired role.
- Make An Informed Decision
After exploring and experimenting with your favorite careers, you’ll need to decide which career path to take. The trick is to weigh the pros and cons of each and consider the work-life balance. You can rank the careers you want from the top to identify the most suitable choice. After you decide, gather all the documents and details you’ll require to be ready for the role. These details include educational background, employment history, and professional certifications and licenses. Develop short-term and long-term goals to help you accomplish your final career goal. It includes the certifications, training, and other essential aspects of your new career.
Nothing can stop you from changing your career, not even your age or stage of your work life. Therefore, follow the above tips to develop a career plan to ensure success in any career field, irrespective of your work experience.