Once upon a time the career planning checklist was a bit simpler:
That would have been at least enough to land a decent job to provide for you, a few family members and your dog Spot. That doesn’t mean our ancestors had it easy though. They worked extremely hard and in many cases harder to achieve their successes. However, today the career planning process is a little more involved.
There are many different paths to take on the road to landing a good job. Whether starting your dream career or becoming an entrepreneur, the process generally starts with some self-evaluation and research. Take a look at the following basic steps and remember your career includes education, as they usually go hand in hand.
Step 1: Decide who you are. This means you must consider your interests, strengths, weaknesses, values, skills, motivation, personality, etc. Keeping track of all the information in these steps is greatly encouraged. Put it in a notebook, tape it on to your wall, write it on your Facebook wall, it doesn’t really matter as long as you are keeping track.
Step 2: Figure out what the heck you want to do! ”I don’t know” is usually not the greatest answer for anything, but in this case it will prove very costly to your progress. This part requires some research, which can come in many different forms. Make sure all of your research coincides with your interests. Conduct online searches, visit organizations that you would like to work for, talk to family and people in your community about their occupations and businesses, work part-time, and volunteer. It’ s perfectly normal not to be able to come to a conclusion on what you want to do right away, but don’t worry, keep working at it.
Step 3: Dream, Set goals. Plan and give yourself a time frame for achieving your goals. Even if you don’t meet your deadlines you will progress a lot faster than if you had no goals at all. Do not limit yourself. A famous rapper once said: “You can do it, put your back into it”.
Step 4: Find out what is necessary to achieve those goals and just do it! You may have to further your education, get certificates, attend training, watch videos online, research job trends and business models, more volunteering; whatever you can think of that’s not illegal. You would be surprised how many times people have done research, set goals and made plans, just to not follow through. Those sneakers with the check on it pretty much summed this up.
step 5: Put all of your information together. Gather contacts, resumes, diplomas, cover letters and apply to places you want to be employed. Consider possible interview questions and know history about the company you want to work for. If you are starting a business, have your business plan ready.
Step 6: Land that job! Create! Succeed! The world needs your best you!
Note: This process can always change and may need revisiting even if you already have a career, so continue evaluating yourself throughout your lifetime.