When I worked in the university counselling department during my practicum, I was in charge of facilitating a workshop on Career Planning. There is a tonne of information to weed through on the topic and I mulled over a way to succinctly convey what I covered in that presentation. That proved difficult so I created a career planning blogging series, instead. I think this will be especially helpful for students preparing to enter post-secondary education, those nearing the end of their academic endeavors and those contemplating a career change.
The first topic is more broad in nature and gives an overview of the planning process. As I move forward, I will delve into some specifics and add depth to the snapshot I provide here.
The 5 Steps of Career Planning
Reflection and Personal Evaluation: Here is when you think about, and examine yourself. Make lists about your interests, skills, personality traits, values, passions and knowledge. Invite those who know you well to add information here too.
Seek out job options: This is where you look for possible jobs/careers that match what you found in step one. Be broad in what you include. There are excellent inventories and tools available to assist with this.
Research: Here you can look into additional details about some of your top job/career choices. For example, it is important to find out what type of education you require to obtain a specific job/career and how long that education will take. It’s also a good idea to look into how much the job/career pays, what the labor market trends are going to be, and where those jobs are available. Look into job shadowing or have a discussion with someone in your field of interest. Make sure to note if you are missing any information and work to find it before you move to the next step.
Decision Making: At this point, you take all of the information you have collected and start weighing your options. What are the pros and cons of each job/career? Is there anything that you are immediately going to strike from the list? Are there any obstacles you're not willing to work around? Here is where you make some choices and set goals.
Go for it: Now is the time for action. This means applying for schools, registering for courses or training, seeking out work experience or practical learning, and moving toward the goal(s) you have set.
If you, or someone you know, is participating in the career planning process, whether it's for a new or first job/career, stay tuned for the remainder of the series.