Once you’ve completed the Career Planning Exercises, the next step is to develop a picture of yourself and your career over the next few years. Once you’ve developed the mental picture, the final step is developing a plan for achieving your goal.
Career Planning Steps:
- Identify your next career move. If you have been examining multiple career paths, now is the time to narrow down the choices and focus on one or two careers.
- Conduct detailed career research and gather information on the careers that most interest you.
- Pinpoint the qualifications you need to move to the next step in your career or to make the move to a new career path. If you’re not sure, search job postings and job ads, conduct informational interviews, research job descriptions.
- Compare your current profile with the qualifications developed in step 3. How far apart are the two profiles? If fairly well-matched, it may be time to switch to a job-search. If fairly far apart, can you realistically achieve the qualifications in the short-term? If yes, move to the next step; if no, consider returning to the first step.
- Develop a plan to get qualified. Make a list of the types of qualifications you need to enhance your standing for your next career move, such as receiving additional training, certification, or experience. Develop a timeline and action plans for achieving each type, being sure to set specific goals and priorities.
Long-Term Career Planning
Long-term career planning usually involves a planning window of five years or longer and involves a broader set of guidelines and preparation. Businesses, careers, and the workplace are rapidly changing, and the skills that you have or plan for today may not be in demand years from now. Long-range career planning should be more about identifying and developing core skills that employers will always value while developing your personal and career goals in broad strokes.
Core Workplace Skills: communications (verbal and written), critical and creative thinking, teamwork and team-building, listening, social, problem-solving, decision-making, interpersonal, project management, planning and organizing, computer/technology, and commitment to continuous/lifelong learning.
Identifying Career/Employment Trends: How can you prepare for future career changes and developments? The best way is to stay active in short-term career planning. By regularly scanning the environment and conducting research on careers, you’ll quickly become an expert on the career paths that interest you — and you’ll be better prepared for your next move.