08 Career Planning

Six Steps to a Career Plan


Six Steps to a Career Plan


It all starts with six steps to a career plan.

  • First, you need to decide what you want to do. This may take some evaluation of your skills and abilities, interests and desires, and aptitudes.
  • Second, you want to find out what it takes to do what you want to do. If you want to be an airplane pilot, you need to investigate how to get a pilots license, and so forth.
  • Third, take action to get the knowledge, skills and experience or education.
  • Once you have the new skills, you can update your resume.
  • Fifth, let people know you are ready to work. Whether you want a new job or are starting a new business, people need to know you are available.
  • Finally, continue to stay up to date in your field.

Let’s look at each of these steps.

One, Decide what you want to do.

Sometimes the hardest thing is to figure out what you want to do.  The personal assessment and skills assessment information under the personal assessment tab of this web site may help.  If you could do anything, what would it be?  What do you like to do?  What are you good at?  Ask yourself a few questions to figure out what you want to do.

It can help to look up different jobs, what they require, what the work is like, what the job pays, and what training is needed.  This can help you match your interests to the current job market. When you find a good match you are ready to move on to the next step.

Two, Research What it Takes.

Once you know what you want to do, you are ready to research what it takes to do your dream job.  Look at the Occupational Outlook to find out about specific jobs.  Read about training requirements for your target job.  Identify whether you need formal schooling, a degree or certificate, or even a license to do the job.

Don’t be daunted by the need to continue your education.  Education often pays big dividends in terms of job compensation and rewards. Figure out what you need to do.  Whether the road of preparation is short or long, you will be happiest if you prepare for work you enjoy!

Three, Get the Knowledge, Skills, Experience or Education.

Once you know what it takes to work in the career you have targeted, take action! Figure out how to get the knowledge skills, experience or education. Here are some typical ways to do that.

  • Go back to school. Get a degree that allows you to work your dream job.
  • Practice new skills. If you want to be a carpenter, you need to know how to use the tools of the trade. Find every opportunity you can to practice the skills you need to do the job.
  • Volunteer. Volunteer to help those in your targeted field to get some experience, see what the work is really like, and to prepare for a job.
  • Get a certificate or license. Get the certificate or license required to work in the field. This may require both school, skills, and an internship to qualify for licensure. Take one step at a time until you reach your goal.

Four, Update your Resume.

Once you have taken the time to sharpen your skills, get further education and training, or add to your experience; you are ready to update your resume. Make sure your resume includes your new skills and experience. Find people who can vouch for your capabilities to use as references.

As you update your resume, make sure you put your most recent training and skills first so that others can quickly see that you are prepared for a new job.

Five, Let people know you are ready to work.

Get the word out. Whether you want to apply to work with a big company, start a small business, or open a shop around the corner; you need dot let people know that you are ready to work and want the business. If you are applying to work for a company, you need to go through the job search process. Interview, evaluate different organizations and find the one that best meets your needs.

If you are starting your own business, you want to contact other businesses, look for referrals and find a way to let others know you are open and ready for business.

Six, Continue to stay up to date in your field.

Once you land your dream job, your career planning hasn’t ended, it has only just begun! You want to continue to stay up to date in your field. Continue your training and education. Take a class. Learn new skills. Stay up to date with technology. Makes sure that you continue to have the job to stay current in your field.

There are no limits on what you can do as you apply these six steps to a career plan. Remember, first, decide what you want to do. Second, find out what it takes. Third, get the knowledge, skills, and experience or education. Fourth, update your resume. Fifth, let people know you are ready to work. Sixth, continue to stay up to date in your field.

07 EArn a Raise

Career Tune-Up – 5 steps to getting a raise

Career Tune-up – 5 steps to getting a raise

It’s time for a career tune-up.  Nothing better than an increase in salary to tune things up.  Here are five steps to getting a raise.  Take the time to work through each step to prepare for a raise.

Step 1. Know what your company wants.

The first step to getting a raise is to know what your company wants.  Find out what your company goals are and what the company wants from you as an employee.  Figure out how your job function fits into the big picture of the company.  Research the competition so that you have insight on what your organization needs to do to meet or exceed the competition.  Know the market for your product or service.

This information will help you see where you fit in. Identify how you can help the company reach its goals.  If you have a choice of doing two things, ask “What activity will best promote company goals?” Try to align what you do to what the company wants and needs.

Step 2. Add value.

The second step to getting a raise is to add value to your company.  You add value to your company by making sure that you are the one who helps the company and your boss meet goals.  Align your individual work goals to those of the company.  Make sure that you are the one who “meets the numbers.”  This makes you look good, makes your boss look good and makes your company look good.  This is how you add value.

Don’t wait to be asked to do something.  If you see something that needs to be done and it falls within your job function, then dive in to do it.  Take the initiative and the company will notice!

Step 3. Know what you are worth.

The next step is to know what you are worth. Do the research to find out what others in your field are making.  What are salary ranges in your field?  In your community? How does your experience and capability impact where you are in the salary range?  If you are new, then you may need more experience to earn a higher salary.  Make it a point to get the experience so you will be ready when raises happen again.

Be realistic about what you are worth.  Some individuals have an over or under inflated view of their workplace worth. Compare yourself to others who have the same capabilities and job description you do.

Once you know your worth, you can compare what you think you should earn to your salary.  Depending upon your company, you may need to make a lateral move to get the salary increase you desire.  You can evaluate these options once you know what you are worth.

Step 4. Document what you have done.

The fourth step to getting a raise is to document what you have done.  Create a record of your performance.  Look for objective measures of how well you are doing.  Here are a few measures to consider:

  • Productivity – Demonstrate what you have done,
  • Timeliness – Document how you have met deadlines,
  • Quality – Show the high quality of your performance,
  • Customer Satisfaction – Know who your customers are – both inside and out of the company and show how you meet or exceed their expectations,
  • Going the extra mile – Document how you have gone above and beyond the required job description.

Gather all of your documentation together in a nice format, so it is easy to demonstrate how well you are doing.

Step 5. Talk to your boss.

The last step to getting a raise is to talk to your boss.  Discuss how you “add value” to the company and how you help the company meets its goals.  Share your documentation of what you have done.  Indicate where you think you should be salary wise in the industry.  Make it clear why it would be important for your boss to keep you happy on the job. Make it easy for your boss to say yes to a raise.

Sometimes, after all of your effort, you still get a “no” to a raise.  When this happens take the time to evaluate.  If the no is because you need more capability or experience or because your performance suffers, then find out what you need to do to be eligible for a raise next time around.  Get the experience, improve your performance, and prepare for a raise.

On the other hand, if after your best efforts, the answer is no because the company has a tight corporate budget, you may want to explore other options.  Some workers get a raise by making a lateral transfer to another company that is able to pay more.  Use the information you have gathered to talk to your boss and talk to a potential new boss instead. Its all about Getting the Raise you Deserve.  For further reading review 14 tips for getting a raise when they’re not handing them out, how to get a raise or job promotion at work, or 10 tips for getting a proper raise.

07 Career Training

Career Training – Take a Class

Career Training– Take  a Class


Career training strategies by taking a class can make all of the difference.  Ask yourself:

What training would help me to get my dream job?

What can I learn that would give me career a boost?

How can I prepare to move up the career ladder?

Pick a category and find a class that takes you to the next career level.


Accounting and Finance

Accounting Fundamentals Introduction to Quick Books 2014
Accounting Fundamentals II Introduction to Microsoft Excel 2013
Real Estate Investing


 Business Management

Creating a Successful Business Plan Fundamentals of Supervision and Management
Employment law fundamentals Fundamentals of Supervision and Management II
Understanding Human Resource ManagementProject Management Fundamentals Six Sigma:  Total Quality Applications

Start your Own Small Business

 PMP ® Certification Prep 1 Start and Operate your OwnHome-Based Business
Total Quality Fundamentals Starting a Nonprofit


 Communication and Leadership


Achieving Success with Difficult People  Keys to Effective Communication
Building Teams that work Interpersonal Communication 


 Computers Applications


Computer Skills for the Workplace  Project Management Applications
Introduction to Windows 8 Introduction to Adobe Acrobat X
Introduction to Microsoft Word 2013 Introduction to Microsoft Excel 2013
Intermediate Microsoft Excel 2013
Introduction to Microsoft Powerpoint 2013 Introduction to Quick Books 2014
 Introduction to Microsoft Project 2013 Introduction to Microsoft Access 2013


Computer Programming


Introduction to Java Programming Introduction to CSS3 and HTML 5
Introduction to SQLIntermediate SQL Introduction to PHP and My SQL
Introduction to C# Programming Introduction to Oracle
Introduction to Visual Basic Introduction to Programming
Introduction to Ruby Programming  Introduction to C++ Programming


Web Skill Development

Achieving Top Search Engine Positions Creating Web Pages 
Blogging and Podcasting for Beginners Introduction to Creating WordPress WebsitesCreating WordPress Websites II
Creating Mobile Apps with HTML Designing Effective Websites
Introduction to Google Analytics Introduction to Networking
Marketing your business on the Internet Understanding the Cloud



Effective Selling Marketing your business on the Internet
A to Z Grantwriting Marketing your nonprofit
Achieving Top Search Engine Positions Nonprofit Fundraising Essentials
Small Business Marketing on a Shoestring Using Social Media in Business


Health care and Medical

Medical Math Medical Terminology:A Word Association Approach
Handling Medical Emergencies Human Anatomy and Physiology
Spanish for Medical Professionals HIPAA Compliance
Introduction to Natural Health and Healing Certificate in Legal and Ethical Issues in Nursing
Certificate in Food, Nutrition, and Health Certificate in Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Certificate in Meditation Certificate in Healing Environments
Certificate in Spirituality,Health and Healing Certificate in Gerontology

 Teaching and Education

Ready, Set, Read! Math Refresher
Response to Intervention:Reading Strategies that work Singapore Math Strategies:Model Drawing for Grades 1-6
Common Core Standards forEnglish Language Arts K-5 Singapore Math:  Number Sense and Computational Strategies
Solving Classroom Discipline Problems Teaching Students with ADHD
Understanding Adolescents Teaching Students with Autism:Strategies for Success




Beginning Writer’s Workshop Business and Marketing Writing
Advanced Fiction Writing Effective Business Writing
How to make money with your writing Fundamentals of Technical Writing
Writing and Selling Self-Help Books Writing Essentials
Writing Fiction like a Pro Writing Effective Grant Proposals


Career Tips and Quotes

Career Tips and Quotes

“ A career path is rarely a path at all.  A more interesting life is usually a more crooked, winding path of missteps, luck and vigorous work.  It is almost always a clumsy balance between the things you try to make happen and the things that happen to you.”

Tom Freston

08 Skills Assessment

Conducting a Career Skills Assessment and Career Tune-Up

Conducting  a Career  Skills Assessment and  Career Tune-Up



Before starting any job search, it is important to conduct a career skills assessment and career tune-up.  Do you have the skills? Find out by conducting a career skills assessment and career tune-up.

Evaluate basic work skills, communication and interaction skills, computer skills, analytical skills, management and leadership, and knowledge skills. This will help you determine what skills you have, what skills need some tune-up, and what you need to do to be well prepared to move ahead in the workplace.

Review the list of skills below.  Ask yourself whether you have the skill listed. Be honest! You are best served by identifying your strengths and weaknesses so that you can improve areas you need to before entering the job market.

Take a few minutes to conduct your career skills assessment.  As you do, you will be able to identify your strong points, areas where improvement is needed, and determine what you need to do to tune-up to find your preferred job.  If you need to brush up your skills, review some options to do this which are listed under the skill.

Once you have completed the assessment, consider ways to highlight your strengths on your resume.  Look for ways to “tune-up” your skills and add to your resume and abilities.  Often an added skill can make a big difference in landing that job!

Basic Work Skills


Computer Skills

Analytical Skills

Management and Leadership Skills