The process of planning one’s career is not instantaneous. It takes a lifetime, for your career is planned throughout your life. Beginning from what you want to study, what kind of job you want to take up, acquiring a job, progressing in your job, changing jobs and even deciding at what point in time you want to retire, all form a part of your career planning.
People have bid adieu to the concept of lifetime jobs and are more intent at changing organizations to gain industrial experience. Career planning can be a laborious operation but has to be done nevertheless. A systematic and a calculated sketch of your career can help you reap benefits at the right moment.
The Process of Career Planning
Like I already mentioned in my previous article planning your career evolves in the following manner:
- Know Yourself
- Know Your Opportunities
- Take a Decision
- Execute Your Decision
Let’s look at all the above steps in detail and know how the evolution of these steps would help us sketch our careers in the required manner.
Ask yourself what did you like doing as a child. Try writing down what comes to your mind when you ask yourself this question.
- You would find that the list wouldn’t be exhaustive. These would be your genuine interests and you might also want to dwell and develop upon them. This is your first step to career planning.Try identifying your values as these are very much related to your career. You might be wondering how your values would affect your career.
- Each and every one of us has core values that we hold on to very dearly. These values are our motivating forces and they reflect in our behavior and actions.
- Getting an insight into the industries that suit our values would get us the right kind of job, the job that best suits us and would make us happy.
- Some of them values creativity, teamwork, justice, love, integrity, communication, freedom, independence, challenge, variety, professionalism, calm, peace etc. Knowing your values would place you in the right industry.
- Try to identify the roles you could take up after entering your chosen industry. Know if you are a team player, a team leader(would happen over time), are you business minded etc.
- See that you have acquired the right skills that your profession demands. Ponder upon the additional qualifications that would help you build up your job requisites.
- Some organizations may also check your aptitude skills apart from your qualification. Try to be prepared for it.
- Also try to check if your goals and aims are close to reality or see if you need to improve your skills for the chosen environments that you want to work in.
Know Your Opportunities
Once you have a set of goals and you know what your aim is it’s time to research in the fields where there would be a creative flow of your thoughts.
- Research needs to be based upon your academic qualifications, previous work experiences, your priorities, your lifestyles and your expectations.
- Make sure your objectives and goals are feasible in the real world.
Take A Decision
If you are unsure about taking a decision there are a number of people who can help you with it.
- Speak to your friends who might be knowing about you.
- Try consulting a few people who are in the field you are working and gather their suggestions.
- Speak to a career counselor if you would want a professional opinion.
- But remember the final decision is yours and only yours. You are the best judge of yourself and let not the pieces of advice from the above affect your decision.
Execute Your Decision
After you have done a research and taken your decision about a particular field try to explore the possible occupations that are readily available for you to take up.
- Evaluate these occupations against your values, goals, and aim. Also, have a contingency plan just in case.
- Pick up any additional skills required and try building up a substance oriented RESUME.
Career planning is easier said than done. Know your interests, build up the required skills, explore your opportunities and take up the right work; your career should be a cakewalk.
How Important Are Career Decisions?
One of my previous articles about careers mentions about the importance of career decisions. So how do you take a decision regarding your career?
What factors influence your career decision-making process? Do you know what you want to do with your career? Do you have to see a professional to help you with your career development?
The questions of this kind are numerous along one’s career.
Self-assessment is the best answer to all the above questions. Like I have mentioned in my previous article there is no one else who can judge you better except you.
- Self-assessment would help you accumulate information about yourself and this information is valuable while setting your short-term and long-term career plans. A career decision is not a minute decision. It needs a careful thought process; though herculean-quiet necessary. A well-carved career path is only possible through this.
Process of Decision Making
Career decisions need to be dynamic to suit the ever changing economy and social needs.
- Your interests, values, skills, limitations, pay etc. all need to be constantly reviewed in the process of decision making.
- Past experiences and future plans also form a part of your decision-making process.
The onus of career decisions always lies with one’s self. You are the subject and you are the object in the decision-making process.
- A good part of career decisions lies in assessing one’s interests, values, skills, nd abilities. The first thing what a career counselor does when you go to him is prepare an inventory of the above mentioned four personal traits. So why not do this our self and find out what our personality is.
- Take suggestions from friends, family or relatives and gather their experiences.
- Try gathering information about the careers you are particularly interested in and also find out about the industries and companies that would be available for you.
- Meet individuals working in your areas of interest and try knowing the crests and troughs about your chosen career.
- Hands-on experience is always preferable. Participate in voluntary work, internships or even work part-time in various environments to see how different careers would suit you.
Decision Making Hierarchy
Once you know what you are, try addressing your limitations and the problems that you might face in your career path. Find a solution to this problem.
- Your aim should be clear and make sure you do not deter from it. Reason out what you exactly want to accomplish.
- Draw a contingency plan if necessary. Assess the risks associated with your solutions.
- Put forth your action plan once you have all the required information. Do not delay in executing your plan.
- Keep a track of all the changes happening around you and try to adapt to the new situations.
- Embrace new challenges all the time and see if you need to take new decisions.
Sketching an effective career decision plan stretches your boundaries and you will see that there would be enough scope for you to accomplish your dreams and aims.