Career development is a lifelong process that encompasses everything from choosing a career and selecting your work place to building your career and changing careers. It really never ends. There are even executive coaches out there who help those at the top of the corporate ladder to navigate the sometimes choppy career waters! No matter where you are in the process, whether you’re researching careers or moving through your career, you’ll find that certain themes pop up again and again.
Let us find out how one can achieve a successful career through proper planning and development:
1. What interests you?
You definitely want to look in the mirror and ask yourself this question. Also ask your friends and family what they think interests you. This is something that can change a lot over time so keep asking the question. Work can feel more like play if your career path matches your interests.
2. Skill assessment
What are your skills? Recognizing what you’re good at is the key to finding the right career fit. It usually takes a few years of working to realize what can be the strengths. They can be from being a persistent, detail-oriented, to a trustworthy good listener who could effectively meet and connect with new people and help them. If one has a combination of such skills which makes a good salesperson, you can pursue a sales-related path. That would help to enjoy your work and make money – always a nice combination.
3. Following your dreams
You’ll have to balance this route by making many sacrifices but it can be done and achieved! Life is short…do you want to look back one day and say, “if only……”? The “if only” way of thinking can take over your mind.
Always necessary no matter what you do for a living. Networking is technically meeting with people and establishing a mutually beneficial relationship. It is just as keeping a high profile, always letting people know what you’re looking for, and helping to connect others to what they’re looking for. Careers are grown this way. Businesses are built this way. Friendships are founded this way. If you don’t do this, you will suffer. For some, it’s a skill that needs to be learned. Musicians, other artists and introverts typically need a major push to embrace this.
5. Putting family first
Sometimes you have to choose between career growth and taking care of personal business. This might mean debating whether to go out of the city for a higher education or stay in the city and study in some simple but good college. It can also mean accepting a promotion that would give you less time to spend with your spouse or kids.
6. Career Guidance
Students with disabilities face many obstacles as they transition from school to work. The process of deciding future career options can be challenging and involves careful considerations. Although there are many careers to choose from, individuals with disabilities have traditionally been limited in their career options, especially if they are unprepared for the requirements of the workplace, underestimate their capabilities, or are unaware of the range of workplace accommodations that can broaden their career options. Career guidance provides access to the skills and resources students need to overcome these obstacles and prepares them to make choices relevant to their personal strengths and interests.
7. Career Counseling
Every day different careers and professional opportunities are emerging. No matter how much you want to do all of them you will have to prioritize and choose the best option for you. This will help you to decide which some of the viable options for you are. This process of career planning is vital for your success.
A trained career counselor can help you identify several professions in which you can be good. Even if your test indicates your aptitude in medicine – lack of half a mark can prove to be an obstacle and thus makes it vital that your list of possible professions be long.
8. Reflect on Your Likes and Dislikes, Needs and Wants
Change is a factor of life; everybody changes, as do our likes and dislikes. Something we loved doing two years ago may now give us displeasure. So always take time to reflect on the things in your life — not just in your job — that you feel most strongly about.
Make a two-column list of your major likes and dislikes. Then use this list to examine your current job and career path. If your job and career still fall mostly in the like column, then you know you are still on the right path; however, if your job activities fall mostly in the dislike column, now is the time to begin examining new jobs and new careers.
Finally, take the time to really think about what it is you want or need from your work, from your career. Are you looking to make a difference in the world? To be famous? To become financially independent? To effect change? Take the time to understand the motives that drive your sense of success and happiness.
9. Set Career and Job Goals
Develop a roadmap for your job and career success. 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.
A major component of career planning is setting short-term (in the coming year) and long-term (beyond a year) career and job goals. Once you initiate this process, another component of career planning becomes reviewing and adjusting those goals as your career plans progress or change – and developing new goals once you accomplish your previous goals.
10. Final Thoughts on Career Planning
Don’t wait too long between career planning sessions. Career planning can have multiple benefits, from goal-setting to career change, to a more successful life. Once you begin regularly reviewing and planning your career using the tips provided in this article, you’ll find yourself better prepared for whatever lies ahead in your career — and in your life.