Career planning is an activity that has the desired effects only if done regularly, especially because, as it has been shown, a worker will change careers (not jobs) several times throughout a lifetime. And it’s never too early or too late to start planning your career.
It’s not a difficult task, not something that we should postpone, rather an activity that will give you a sense of liberation and fulfillment, giving you the objectives you need to achieve in your current career or plans moving to another area.
Here are ten tips for a successful career planning.
1. Transform your career planning in an annual event
Many of us regularly go to the dentist or see a doctor regularly, so why not include career planning as well? Take a little time every year to think about your career. Try to avoid possible distractions.
By making career planning a yearly event, you will feel more confident in the choices and directions of your profession – and you’ll be better prepared for the uncertainties and difficulties of daily life.
2. Shapes the path you established from your latest career planning event
One of the first things you need to establish each time you handle career planning is to a little bit of time outlining your path. Although you should not necessarily focus on the past, reflecting on it will help you plan your future.
Once you have reviewed the steps, give yourself some time to reflect on your direction – and note all aspects of it. Are you happy with this direction? Could you do things better? What could you have done differently?
3. Reflect on what you like, what you dislike, your needs and wishes
Change is a part of life, we all change, and the same happens to our feelings. Something we liked two years ago, we might completely dislike now. Always take time to reflect on the things in your life that you like best, not only from a professional perspective.
Make a list with likes and dislikes. Then, use this list to examine your current job and career direction. If your job and career include many aspects of the “like” columns, then you are still on track, however, if your activities at work include aspects mentioned in the “dislike” column, you should consider a change.
Finally, give yourself time to think about what you want or need at work. Do you want to make an important change in this world? Become famous? Become financially independent? Give yourself time to think about the reasons that lead your happiness and success.
4. Examine your entertainment preferences and hobbies
Career planning includes examining activities that you enjoy doing when you’re not working. It may sound odd to examine the activities that are not related to work in a career planning, but it is a necessary aspect. Often, hobbies can provide useful information about a possible career path.
People make a career out of their hobbies all the time. The famous painter Paul Gauguin was a successful businessman who painted on the sea shore and who became a painter encourage by an artist he admired. That was when he decided to change careers because, although he was a good businessman, he liked painting better.
5. Analyze past achievements
Most people do not keep a record of professional achievement and every time they look for a new job, they are faced with the difficulty of creating a resume. Analyze previous accomplishments, and keep a record of them, not only when creating a resume, but also in career planning.
Reviewing previous accomplishments could reveal a possible new career path.
6. Identify your skills
Some employees are so absorbed by their professions, they cannot see other career opportunities for themselves. Every job requires a certain set of qualities, and it is much better to fit into a certain category according to these qualities, than according to the job title.
For example, a person who is looking for a job, trying to plan his career, can be identified only as a reporter. Looking behind the job title, you may realize you have many strong qualities in terms of activities: writing, editing, researching, investigating, interviewing, fulfilling several tasks simultaneously, achieving objectives and deadlines, time management and information – qualities that can be easily applied to a broad range of jobs in different fields.
7. Review jobs and career trends
A professional area in development today can go wrong tomorrow or next year. It is important to note that there is the perspective of jobs. Besides knowledge of these trends, another advantage of this research is the power to strengthen your profession or adjust goals.
8. Establish professional goals
Establish a path to professional success. Can you can be successful in a field without setting goals? Of course. But you can have even more success by setting goals? Most research says yes.
An essential component of career planning is setting short-term professional goals (current year), medium (next year) and long term.
9. Study new opportunities for education/training
Sounds like a cliche, but information really is the key to success and power. Never turn down the chance to learn and develop yourself personally or professionally.
Give yourself time to consider which educational experiences are necessary to achieve professional goals. Search within your company, through professional associations, universities and faculties, as well as online learning programs.
10. Explores opportunities for professional advancement
One of the most pleasant results of career planning is developing a professional career scenario for the future. Where will you be in a year? In five years? An important element in the future development of these scenarios is researching professional opportunities.