Great careers and great lives usually do not happen by accident. In the medical coding school training business at Med-Certification, we talk about the facts: The average person spends 40 hours a week at a given career. That is over 2080 hours per year devoted to work. When one considers 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:

  • Self-assessment
  • Research
  • 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. Whether you’re interested in medical billing or medical coding, 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
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.

Med-Certification offers in-depth and detailed training courses (and certification testing) in the healthcare and legal fields. Despite the difficulties with the economy, the opportunities in both law and medicine remain relatively recession-proof. In fact, interested lookers may order the free “Life and Career Planner,” designed to asses skills and interests plus provide ideas for what to do with your life personally.

Finding the Right Career for You
Twenty or thirty years ago, finding the right career was limited by lack of global internet tools, restricted by more old-fashioned (if you will) values and opinions, and less important than finding yourself. I recall when my therapist, the savior of all saviors as far as I’m concerned, laughed with me over how I had gone about finding the right career: I had taken all the courses I found interesting and many I hoped were somehow related, then tried to decide on a major/career.

She gently joked that many people decide first, then do the footwork of taking the required and necessary and relevant courses, doing internships, and getting in at some entry-level. Clearly, I didn’t have the tools we do today for finding the right career, or I didn’t know about their existence and usefulness, at least.

For example, a lot of students will use personality testing and employment/goal assessments for finding the right career right in high school and again in college. A fantastic implement for guidance, information, and statistical projections is the Index to Careers Guide, created, updated/maintained, and provided both online and off (in college and high school career centers, for instance) by the U.S. Department of Labor/Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If finding the right career is a task you feel or think requires a knowledge of salaries, working conditions, descriptions of the nature of the work involved, training and other qualification requirements, the number of jobs/positions held in that field and the competition involved, and projected job openings, then go to and type in any career title or browse the index of thousands of positions/job types.

So, just figure your life is starting anew tomorrow – take a minute and read words of wisdom on Career Training: Careers and Jobs: Visit online or call 801-771-1902.