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Three Steps to a Winning Career Plan

Posted by Zura on June 24, 2008

Steps for Winning Career  Plan

Hallo, my beloved reader...

You see, I think I am in trouble now. Guess what? Mmm, this month is when my job contract will be expired. But till now I have not yet any preparation to get a new job, even there was two offers for me.😛 Uh, perhaps everything’s gonna be okay and my boss would consider me to work here long termly. hehehe😆

Alright, talk about career… Actually I have one trusted source, it’s http://www.jobstreet.com . They provided us all we need to get a job, include resume builder and it’s all cost free! And currently I know that they also provide free articles around careers, and this time… I would present it to you… Good luck!😉

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A good career plan can serve as a lamppost, lighting your way as you navigate bumps and potholes for a smoother ride along the corporate highway.

A movie that hit the theaters a few months back has the evocative title of “Serendipity.” Here, the lead stars go through years of mishaps, missteps and misadventures before they happily find each other.

But that’s the movies. In real life, leaving anything to chance or destiny sucks. To succeed in anything, you need to take control — grab the driver’s seat and go in the direction you want to go.

In the realm of career, for instance, driving off-course could translate to years of misery and stagnation and unrecoverable lost ground. Thus, a well-laid plan is crucial to accomplishing your goals. “A good career plan can serve as a lamppost, lighting your way as you navigate bumps and potholes for a smoother ride along the corporate highway,” says Rosalie Duran, a college guidance counselor.

Who needs a career plan? Everyone does. If you fit into any of these categories, you are sure to benefit from having a career blueprint:

* Casualty of retrenchment or downsizing
* Fired from your job and fearing the future
* Contemplating a career change
* Planning to re-enter the workforce
* Retired early and now eyeing a second career
* Currently employed but can’t seem to get ahead
* A new graduate unsure about career options

Developing a career plan
A sound career plan involves a three-step process.

1. Know thyself — Your choice of career, like most major decisions in life, is one of those life-defining actions whose outcome depends largely on self-knowledge. Yet it’s incredible how people can drift along in occupations that they loathe or that freeze their potentials because they do not bother to find out what they really want to do.

“Poor self-awareness is one of the reasons why some students end up in jobs that are far from their major. Or why workers hop from one job to another. Or why individuals change careers midway into the game,” says Duran.

To discover what makes you tick, ask yourself: “Who am I?” “What do I like to do?” “What am I good at?” “What matters to me the most?” Your answers to these and similar questions will give you valuable insights into your skills and abilities, interests, values, personal traits and work style.

And while you’re on a journey of self-discovery, don’t forget the input that family and friends can contribute to your personal search. Having known you for years, they can validate your discoveries and identify your strengths and weaknesses.

Taking personality or skill tests and seeking guidance from a career counselor are other means of boosting your quest. “Answering professionally designed tests can yield information about you that you may not be aware of, while a professional career expert can help you see pathways ahead of you,” says Duran.

2. Study careers — There are thousands of occupations in today’s work world. Without a plan, it’s so easy to make an ill-fitting job choice. But with an honest self-assessment, you have a greater chance of hitting a career bull’s eye.

Based on your soul searching, conduct research on the types of careers available to you. There are several ways to collect occupational intelligence. You can read publications on careers that appeal to you. You can surf online. The Internet is an amazing resource center that can give your search a big push.

You can also reach out to other people. Interview persons in fields that interest you and ask them what their typical workday is. These so-called informational interviews can further open your eyes to the realities of certain careers.

Says Duran: “If you’re a graduating student or a fresh graduate, take advantage of your school’s counseling services, internship programmes and school-sponsored seminars and conferences on careers to gather and generate ideas.”

Another way to do research is to visit online job sites like JobStreet.com and check out openings being offered by employers. Then compare the responsibilities and requirements that go with these positions against your skills set, experience and interests.

Once you’ve dug up the information you need, narrow your options to those select few that match your personal makeup and abilities.

3. Make a decision — Now comes the trickiest part: making a choice. After you’ve shaken hands with yourself and scouted around for jobs that might suit your particular lifestyle, you have got to act on it.

One strategy to arrive at a decision is to take a piece of paper and write down where you think you would like to be one year, five years, 10 years from now. Another is to weigh the pros and cons of working in your top two or three career prospects and see which one offers the best option.

Once you have taken your pick, it’s time to go on a test drive. Again, you have several avenues open to you. You could undertake internship to gain on-the-job exposure. Or you could take short courses or participate in workshops related to your chosen career.

Rather than resign outright, a potential career shifter could take it slowly but surely by taking part-time, temporary or volunteer work on the side to see if a new career would make him happier. You could also join professional or activity clubs to soak in the atmosphere and make inroads with people who could get you a head start by giving you tips, referrals and guidance.

When you test the waters with your toes, you gain experience without committing too much of your time and effort. If you discover that your career choice does not meet your expectations, you can reverse drive and try out the other options until you come upon your dream job.

But making a career plan once is not the end of it. Duran says it’s a continuing activity that could reflect changes as you change over the years. “You have to be flexible and be ready to adapt your plan as you mature and discover new things about yourself or find new opportunities along the way.”

In matters of work, a career plan is infinitely more effective than serendipity.

One Response to “Three Steps to a Winning Career Plan”

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