Building a house takes planning, and so does taking a vacation. Everything starts with planning. And this goes for a career, too. Career planning is not a once in a lifetime thing. You don't just map out your career once during your senior high school year and then leave it at that. Career planning is a continuous process - one that evolves as you and your life change and evolve, too.
Planning for a career is an investment, and regularly assessing your career path will guarantee your success. And who would not like to be successful in life? Here are a few steps on how to start career planning.
Start with where you are. You should be aware of where you stand at the moment. Write down all the abilities and skills that you have accumulated through the years. Make a chart of all that you have achieved so far. Reflect on your past and where it has taken you. Going back to the past should serve to enlighten you of any mistakes you made, and also show you the wealth of life's lessons that you have accumulated.
Know what direction you want to take. Once you have a concrete profile of what you are at present, you are in a better position to map out the direction in which you want your career to go to. You are more aware of which paths you don't want to pursue, based on the mistakes you previously made. You can choose to go forward, where you can utilize the skills and abilities you have right now.
Study current career trends. Since you now have a better grasp of who you are, you can search for the career you can pursue. Read and research current career trends. There might be a specific job or career out there that would perfectly blend all your skills and abilities, strengths and weaknesses. Make a list of careers that you think would work for you. Read about these careers, and study the path they will allow you to take if you follow through.
Know your career goals. What do you want to achieve 2 years from now? 5 years from now? Some people achieve success in their careers even without setting any goals, that's true. But mapping out what you want to achieve will give you direction and focus. Draft your short-term goal (what you want to achieve after a year) and your long-term goal (what you want to achieve after 5 years).
- Make your career plan. After all the preparation, you can sit down and write out a detailed plan for the career you have chosen. Include your career goals, and write down how you plan on achieving them. If it includes going through additional educational or training programs, then incorporate them into your career plan.
Now that you are ready with a career plan, don't sit on it for a long time. Move on and go forward. Implement the plan. Keep your dream alive by reading your career plan every day and reminding yourself of what you want to achieve. Reach for your goal.