Whether you are starting a new career or about to change your career midway, it is always advisable to do some career planning in advance. If you have an action plan ready in advance, you can avoid any setbacks in your career. Career planning needs time, research and effort. Jobseekers, students and other candidates need to plan their career with careful thought and consideration. Successful career planning is based on four building blocks –
1. Self Assessment
While making a self-assessment, candidates need to be quite honest and bold to themselves. To start with, you can prepare a inventory which includes your skill sets (basic, social, technical etc), interests, value in workplace and style of learning. Now, you need to review all of these. Do not overlook your weaknesses. To help yourself with the process of assessment, you can also use various free career assessment tests and diagnosis tools available on the internet.
The next most important building block of successful career planning is research. Yes, it requires both time and effort. But the result you get will be worth the effort or more. First, try to prepare a list of career options that you are interested in. Now when you know of careers you are interested in, you can start researching and gathering as much information about these careers as possible. Get in touch with employment organizations, professional people and participate in volunteering work to accumulate more and more career information.
3. Make a Fit
Now it is time to compare your careers of interest with your personal inventory (self assessment). Figure out which careers match the most with your skill sets, strengths, interests, values, personality etc. Have a look at the career options you conducted a research on. Try to find out the career option that is the best match for your skills and interests.
4. Create a Plan
So, you have selected your best career option and have a career goal. It is now time to prepare an action plan on how to go about achieving your career goal. Know about the education, degree or training that you need to obtain for pursuing the career of your interest. Find out about the schools and colleges that offer degrees or training you are looking for. Know the cost of education that you are going to pursue. Figure out if you will need some financial aid. Apply for college students scholarships available in your chosen field. And finally, have a realistic time frame required to reach your career goal.