Great careers help create good lives but usually do not happen by accident. The average person spends 40 hours a week at their given career. That is over 2080 hours per year devoted to work. When one stops to consider how much time is invested it is easy to understand why career planning is imperative. There are six major steps to effective career planning which include the following:
- Decision making
- Networks and contacts
- Work offers and acceptance
- Life-work planning
Accurate self assessment is essential to assist a person to determine current skills, values, personal interests, learning needs, self-employment potential, and knowing what to look for in a career path. Asking yourself questions like what is most important to me in life? Some may answer this question that money is the most important, and others may answer that having a lot of free time to spend in travel is most important. There are no wrong answers. A person seeking much money would need to look for a career path that would pay well. A person who wants a lot of flexibility might be better suited for self-employment. Additionally understanding learning style, personality type, and one’s personal value system is important to making a well rounded self-assessment. Asking yourself the right questions is essential in effective career planning.
Doing research to ascertain what types of work are available, what types of jobs interest you, and what are the current trends in that career field is an important next step in effective career planning. Researching work environments, income potential, and what type of advancement potential a career might have are also important research criteria to consider.
Decision-making entails writing a life-career action plan. This is where you take time to really consider what you want to accomplish in your life and in your career both short-term and long-term. Things to consider would be health, exercise, community involvement, volunteerism, goals for education and/or career advancement.
Networks and Contacts
Networks and contacts are all about creating an award winning resume, interviewing skills, and locating potential employers. A well written resume goes a long way, but having a great interview is the key to getting the job you want. Understanding good interview skills, being able to ask the right questions, knowing what type of questions you will be asked and having ready answers is key to a good interview.
Work- Offers and Acceptance
This step is geared toward deciding which the best job offer is for you. Fitting into your new environment and making plans for the future.
Life-work planning is learning to take time to assess your career and life and making adjustments if needed. It is also about making future goals, deciding on further education, and planning for the future.
Career planning is an important process to undertake in order to make sure that the over 2000 hours you spend at work each year are enjoyable and fit your personality, learning style, and meet your financial and life goals.
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