The Process of Career Planning

Career planning is a process that is life long. It includes steps such as choosing a career or occupation, finding a job, growing in your chosen field, and finally, retiring. The last one is something that we all strive for because by the time retiring comes around, you will have lived a life in which you have had a happy and successful career. (Hopefully!) Here you will find out about the steps involved in planning your career, as well as choosing a career to focus on.

Step 1 – Test Yourself

The first step in the process of career planning is doing a self-assessment. This assessment should include the following aspects:

  • Values
  • Interests
  • Environments that are preferred
  • Skills
  • Aptitudes

Step 2 – Know your Options

Once you take this first important step which will help you get on the right path, you move onto the next step which is your options. Once you reach this step you should do the following:

  • Begin your exploration of occupations that you are interested in
  • Do thorough research on what industries you would like to get into
  • Research the market for the fields you are interested in
  • Shadow some of the jobs you find interesting so you can see if you are still interested once you have some hands on training
  • Volunteer or intern at a company that has jobs that you have been considering
  • Find all the information you can on the careers you are interested in though reading material and other good sources
  • Go on some interviews purely for informational purposes as this will bring you closer to choosing the right option for you
  • job

    Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dccentralkitchen/1733485792/

Step 3 – Find Success

The next step is career matching which will further aid you in making the best possible choice. For this step you should do the following to find success:

  • Figure out what occupations are possible for your areas of interest
  • Do some evaluation on each possible occupation
  • Just to be certain that you are making the right choice, explore some alternatives in case you have missed something that you may find rewarding and enriching aside from your first choice
  • Decide on options for reaching your goals, both on the long term and short term levels

Step 4 – Act Now!

Finally you come to the final step. This step is taking action! In order to develop through each step you have to take into consideration how you will reach your intended goals. That is where the action part comes in. By this step you should already have decided on a career path and now you must figure out how to get to where you want to be. The following things should be done to complete the career planning process successfully:

  • Research what type of education and training you will need to break into your chosen career
  • Create a plan for performing your job search
  • Develop a resume that is professional and plays to your strong points
  • Gather information about companies that offer the type of employment you are seeking
  • Prepare for future job interviews that you are likely to get if you follow the above steps

If you follow this process you will be more likely to get exactly what you want out of your career and life in general.

Simon Johnson is an expert on everything related with career planning and coaching (interesting to know is that the Danish term is karrierecoaching) and he loves to share his tips on various online blogs. He currently works for a company called Attractor in Denmark. 

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