Six Steps to a Career Plan


Six Steps to a Career Plan


08 Career Planning

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.

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