Remember the time when we were kids and used to dream about becoming a pilot, doctor, actor, and other things without really knowing what it takes to pursue these professions? Well, if there’s one thing life has taught us that is to dream big but also seek tools and information to achieve those goals. It’s okay not immediately know your career progression but it is crucial to explore your options and plan your future.
How to make a career plan?
MIT lists steps to an effective career plan which encapsulates both long-term and short-term goals:
- Identify Your Options. Develop a refined list of career options by examining your interests, skills, and values through self-assessment. Narrow your career options by reviewing career information, researching companies, and talking to professionals in the field. You can further narrow your list when you take part in experiences such as shadowing, volunteering, and internships.
- Prioritize. It’s not enough to list options. You must prioritize. What are your top skills? What interests you the most? What’s most important to you? Whether it’s intellectually challenging work, family-friendly benefits, the right location, or a big paycheck, it helps to know what matters to you — and what’s a deal-breaker. We provide skills and values assessments–set up an appointment with a Career Advisor to take advantage of this service.
- Make Comparisons. Compare your most promising career options against your list of prioritized skills, interests, and values.
- Consider Other Factors. You should consider factors beyond personal preferences. What is the current demand for this field? If the demand is low or entry is difficult, are you comfortable with risk? What qualifications are required to enter the field? Will it require additional education or training? How will selecting this option to affect you and others in your life? Gather advice from friends, colleagues, and family members. Consider potential outcomes and barriers for each of your final options.
- Make a Choice. Choose the career paths that are best for you. How many paths you choose depends upon your situation and comfort level. If you’re early in your planning, then identifying multiple options may be best. You may want several paths to increase the number of potential opportunities. Conversely, narrowing to one or two options may better focus your job search or graduate school applications.
- Set “SMART” Goals. Now that you’ve identified your career options, develop an action plan to implement this decision. Identify specific, time-bound goals and steps to accomplish your plan. Set short-term goals (to be achieved in one year or less) and long-term goals (to be achieved in one to five years).
- Create Your Action Plan. It’s important to be realistic about expectations and timelines. Write down specific action steps to take to achieve your goals and help yourself stay organized. Check them off as you complete them, but feel free to amend your action plan as needed. Your goals and priorities may change, and that’s perfectly okay.
What is the It’s Your Career course all about?
Your career is not something happening in the distance—it’s not about creating a ten-year plan and then progressing up the ladder until a certain job title is reached. Your career is happening right now, and employees are taking a shorter-term view of career development. Instead of waiting to be satisfied by professional development milestones set for the future, they want to be satisfied today and tomorrow with the work they do. And they need to be prepared for the fact that their career will likely be disrupted by the change they can’t avoid or by the life choices they make. Our approach to career development centers around an approach that supports career exploration today, encourages planning for tomorrow and anticipates the unexpected—what’s now. what’s next. what if.
- Reflect on their identity—who they are, what’s important to them, what they are good at, and what they like to do
- Explore their reputation—how others perceive them and the impact of their reputation on the work they are attracting
- Develop actions for minimizing the disconnect between identity and reputation
- Establish goals and create actions plans
- Think about the concept of community—how supporting others can be mutually beneficial in career and in life
- Prepare for career disruptions—unintentional or intentional—with coping strategies and concrete steps that reinforce a focus on skills and experience
Conversations regarding career growth and plans can often be intimidating. Don’t let the fear of the unknown hamper your professional growth. Build your own career trajectory, make your own growth map, and track your own success to know your strengths and weaknesses.
The It’s Your Career course can help you evaluate your goals, seek ways to achieve them, prepare for contingencies, create action plans for your career ahead, and much more. If you need a helping hand to help clear the haze and to push you to make decisions in the right direction, this course is perfect for you.
To enroll, contact P2L today!