Career Planning Series Part 3: Research, Decisions, Action.
If you have been following along with the career planning series you should have a general overview and some insight into the first two steps of the process. In this final post of the series let's touch on the final three steps of the process: research, decisions, and action.
Basically, the last three steps is where the work begins. Step three is gathering all the information you need to make your decisions. Research, ask questions and collect information. It’s fairly self-explanatory. There are plenty of online tools to search up the information. In addition, when asked, most people enjoy explaining their work to others so don’t be afraid to ask. Seek out the information that is pertinent to you: What training, schooling and certification do you need for each job? How long will that take? How much will you make? Are there jobs in the field? Where are the jobs located? This step needs to be repeated for each of the jobs you have on your list and have interest in.
Next, in step four, is the decision process. Here is where you will weed jobs out based on barriers and dislikes. Conversely, you will highlight some specific jobs/careers. You may do this based on the following three variables: interest, pay and skills. Picture a venn diagram with three circles with one circle for each of the aforementioned variables. The circles overlap at points with the ideal career falling in the space where the circles overlap. You may compromise and select a career with two variables. Remember, It’s okay to have a list of jobs/careers remaining at the end even if the careers are completely different. When I was going into university I had police officer, teacher and counsellor as three careers on my list. I determined that I wanted an undergraduate degree in the arts and that wasn’t a barrier to any of my options. It gave me time to narrow down my list as I continued my education. Opening one door doesn't mean you are closing all the others.
Finally, step five is where you take action. Work toward the goals you have set. Apply for post-secondary school and select the courses needed for the career you desire. Register for specific training or certification courses. Sometimes we start by upgrading high school courses. Applications for student loans and housing would fall under this step, as would obtaining work experience or volunteer hours. If you don't require additional education or experience, apply for the job you are seeking. Any action step needed to start the journey toward a selected job/career falls into the final part of the process. Take action!
As you can imagine, career planning doesn’t happen in a day. There are some people who are certain of the direction they are headed. Others take time to find their way and their choices may change with life experience and identification of personal values. Besides, there are many paths to the same destination. Find the one that suits you best.
If you discover things still aren't clear or you need assistance with one or more of the steps, book an appointment with me. I can help you walk through the process.