You may have an idea of the career path you want to follow. But do you have a plan in place to get there? Whether you’re studying towards becoming an engineer, accountant, or safety officer, you have to know the direction you need to go and what is required of you to achieve your goal. In this blog post, we’ll show you why you shouldn’t neglect to plan your career.
We’ll also provide you with a handy worksheet you can use to map out your path to success.
Why you need to plan your career
The future can often be uncertain, but having a solid career plan can provide you with a reliable roadmap to get you wherever you would like to go. Planning your career in advance will help you to:
- Achieve the educational credentials you need to pursue your career.
- Identify and learn the skills that will make you attractive to a wide range of employers.
- Focus on one specific career path instead of being confused about many possible careers.
- Stay motivated through goal setting and clear objectives that lead up to landing that “dream job” one day.
- Keep track of your changing interests and skills, and adapt to fit changing circumstances in your personal or work life.
- Take responsibility for your own development.
- Develop a clearer picture of your current and future financial security.
By understanding the requirements of your career, and recognising exactly what you need to fulfil these requirements, your chances of success will become much higher.
Career planning tips
A career plan needs to be clear and specific, but also flexible enough to change along with your personal ambitions and goals. Here are some points to bear in mind when creating your career plan:
1. Examine your personal interests
Career planning is as much about personal satisfaction as it is about work satisfaction. Compare your likes and dislikes with the characteristics of the career path you’re thinking of pursuing. If there are more dislikes linked to the job than likes, there’s a good chance you won’t enjoy your career.
2. Make space for transferable skills
Make sure that you take into account transferable skills – skills that you can carry over from one job to another. Developing these skills will allow you to smoothen out the transition if you feel stuck in one job or career, and you want to move to another.
3. Look at career and job trends
Having information about career and job trends is vital to long-term career planning. Careers that are in high demand today could easily become less valued in the near future. Find out in which industries job growth is expected, and take this into consideration when mapping out your career.
4. Think about the big picture
Take some time to think about what you want to get out of your career. Do you want to be wealthy, or would you prefer to make a difference in the lives of others? Would you like complete independence in your career, or would you prefer working within a large organisation? Do you want to be seen as an expert in a specialised field, or as someone with knowledge of a variety of fields? Looking at the big picture will help you to clarify which jobs will suit you best.
5. Keep re-evaluating your plan
The world of work is evolving constantly, and so are you as a person. This is why it’s important to make career planning an ongoing process. Set aside one day a year to re-examine your career plan, in line with how your circumstances may have changed. You may want to aim for greater goals, or you may decide to change your career path if you aren’t happy in your current job.
Now that you know the importance of career planning, here’s a handy worksheet to help you with creating a plan of your own: Click here for YOUR CAREER PLANNING WORKSHEET