Each individual is responsible for building his or her own career. In this ever-changing world, everyone is looking for new ways to earn living. The purpose of career and job planning is to develop strategic plan based on one’s talents, aspirations and background, leading to a happy personal and professional life. Career planning involves identifying your choices, and then forming the goals that suit your individual needs, and the realities of job world.
How to Plan Your Career and Job
Planning a career and job is an important step for anyone who is either looking for job, or is already employed. It helps to set clear goals, and map the future career path. This panning helps you determine your weaknesses and strengths, and also helps you learn about your career options in different industries. If you are yet to enter the industry, career and job planning takes the form of interviews with prospective colleges, assessment tests, networking with other students and advisors and then finalizing your plan over a period of time. This will equip you with enough skills, knowledge and tools to enter the work world.
Job and life experiences, educational backgrounds and personal goals can either minimize or maximize the potential target career and jobs. Planning for your career involves doing some deductive reasoning and research about the locality of your job search. The types of jobs that are currently in demand vary greatly depending on the location. Getting the basic knowledge of geographic location and observing the statistics can provide you good information regarding jobs that are most competitive and highest in demand.
If you are already employed, there are certain mistakes you need to avoid so that you can plan your career and job well. Do not look for employment in other field without doing intense introspection, do not enter any field just because someone else is doing well in it, do not look for hot fields unless you feel they are suitable for you, do not go back to school without doing some test-drives in the new field, do not try to make the switch alone, do not make money the only deciding factor, be very careful when seeking services of search firms or placement agencies, do not expect to make the switch overnight and do not expect the career counselor to tell you which field to enter.
The foundation of your job search or career shift is solid, good and honest curriculum vitae. It must describe all your qualifications and entire professional career in detail. An effective resume can help you get your foot in the door and lead to personal interviews.
Knowing your salary range is an important aspect of career and job planning. This helps eliminate the prospective jobs falling outside your salary range. To know your realistic salary range, you need to do some research. The first important step is to know your fixed and variable expenses so that you know how much you need to maintain your current standard of living. While determining your salary range, keep in mind that what you might think you are really worth does not matter as much as what the employer thinks the job is worth.
Another important aspect of career and job planning is to get focused. You need to make real choices based on your career aspirations, skills and background.
Once you have successfully formulated you career and job plan, you need to find the employment through your contacts, friends, recent alumni, networking, professors and so on. If you are a fresher, it is advisable that you have a mentor who can also act as a resource in your job hunt. If you are planning a career move, yellow pages, classifieds, career fairs and employment agencies can be quite helpful.