Career planning is not just done in high school or college then left behind as we move forward in our jobs and careers. It is an activity best done on a regular basis. Career planning should be a rewarding and positive experience, providing goals to achieve in your current role or plans for transitioning to a new role.
Here are 8 tips to help you with your career planning.
1. Make Career Planning an Annual Event
By making career planning an annual event, you will feel more secure in your career choice and direction and you’ll be better prepared for the many uncertainties and difficulties that lie ahead in all of our jobs and career.
2. Reflect on Your Likes and Dislikes
Change is a fact of life; everybody changes, as do our likes and dislikes. Something we loved doing two years ago may not be fulfilling now. Get clear about what motives and drives your sense of success and contribution.
3. Examine Your Pastimes and Hobbies
It may sound a bit odd, to examine non-work activities when doing career planning, but it’s not. Many times your hobbies and leisurely pursuits can give you great insight into future career paths.
4. Make Note of Your Past Accomplishments
One of the keys to job and career success is having a unique set of accomplishments, skills, and education that make you better than all others in your career.
5. Look Beyond Your Current Job for Transferable Skills
It’s better to categorize yourself in terms of skill sets than to base your career planning on your job titles. Transferable skills such as writing, researching, investigating, juggling multiple tasks, meeting goals and deadlines, and managing time and information, are easily applied to a wide variety of jobs.
6. Set Career and Job Goals
A major component of career planning is setting short-term (in the coming year) and long-term (beyond a year) career and job goals. Can you be successful in your career without setting goals? Of course. Can you be even more successful through goal-setting? Most research says yes.
7. Explore New Learning and Development Opportunities
Take the time to consider what types of learning experiences will help you achieve your career goals. Pinpoint those that will enhance your current job performance or prepare you for future roles.
8. Research Further Career/Job Advancement Opportunities
One of the really fun outcomes of career planning is picturing yourself in the future. Where will you be in a year? In five years? Envision various career paths, and develop scenarios for seeing one or more of these visions become reality.