Career planning is something most professionals can benefit from, yet many of us don’t spend enough time thinking about our future and what we might like to accomplish from a professional perspective. Before you started college or finished your education for the first time, you might have dreamed of a specific job you wanted to get one day in the future. However, as time has passed by, there’s a good chance your priorities and values have changed. Not to mention, the job market itself is evolving at an incredible rate, with new opportunities emerging all the time. If you’ve never taken the time to create a fully comprehensive career plan to guide you through your professional life, here’s how you can get started.
Assess Your Options
The first step in building an effective career plan is looking at the kind of options that might be available to you. The good news is the world is your oyster, depending on how much work you’re willing to do to make your dream a reality. Begin by looking at:
- Your work values: What kind of working landscape would you like to be a part of? Would you prefer to work in a traditional office with strict schedules, or do you like the idea of working remotely, freelancing, or choosing your own hours?
- Your skills: What are you already good at? Where would you say you have the most talent, and which areas would you be willing to work on if you needed to expand your skills? Do you have any existing degrees or certifications you can use?
- Your passions: What do you really enjoy doing? Where would you spend the majority of your free time given the chance, and are any of your hobbies helpful from a career perspective?
Do Your Research
Once you’ve taken the time to look into your values, skills and passions, the next step is finding jobs which could potentially link all three. Start researching roles related to your interests, and make sure there’s a genuinely high level of demand in these areas. The more in-demand your talents are, the easier it will be to find an open position. If you’re concerned about earning a high wage from your role, it’s also worth making sure you can get a decent salary from whichever position you choose. Keep in mind, you may need to start in an entry-level, low-paying job before you move into something more lucrative.
Set Smart Goals
Finally, it’s time to start setting small, smart goals to drive you towards your targets. If you want to work in the IT field but don’t have a lot of relevant education, you may need to look into a part-time student loan so you can take classes in your spare time when you’re not at work. Keep in mind that achieving your dream job might take some time. However, you can make your targets feel more achievable by breaking them down step by step. Begin by making sure you have the credentials for the role you want, then make your next goal getting an entry-level job. If you stick to your plan, you’ll get where you need to be eventually.
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