5 Steps to Start Your Career Planning Now

Career planning isn’t as scary as it sounds! Below are a summary of major steps in the career planning cycle.

 

career planning

Now that you know what is involved in the career planning process, can you take immediate actions towards discovering the best careers for you starting today?

 

Source: We Know Memes
Source: We Know Memes

 

Ha! And what do we need? Just a few simple actions you’ve probably already started taking.

 

1. Match your personality, interest and work ethics with specific working environments

For instance,  if you have a very strong sense of discipline and love to be around highly organised people in a well-structured environment, make a list of environments and jobs that you think you will flourish in. If you are not looking at jobs yet, start with CCAs in school which will also be part of your preparation for a career later on. Examples of environments you’re likely to feel at home in are established CCAs with a clear structure and responsibilities, for example Students’ Council, Computing Committee or their equivalents.

Similarly, if your interests are in the arts or sports, start matching them with CCAs and jobs if you don’t have one already. Alternatively, map them with skills and work styles. For instance, an interest and talents in the arts can be mapped to creativity, illustration, graphic design or creative writing skills, or even User Experience (UX) design skills.

 

2. Identify the gaps between your goal and where you are now

Now that you can picture yourself in a working environment that suits your interests and personality, write down a list of skills you need to hone to flourish in that environment. This is equivalent in the second step of the career planning cycle.

For example, if you are in the school’s electronic music club but want to rise to the presidential position, below are some of the gaps you may need to fill in:

  • Mastering 3 more genres of electronic music
  • Know-how of composing and remixing in a specific music production software, e.g Ableton Live
  • Organisational skills, conducting workshops for beginners

The same process can be used for an internship position or a job you’re aiming for.

3. Start writing down goals

After you’ve identified the gaps, write down concrete goals to progressively fill them in. Focus on goals that directly contribute to your career path. These can be in the form of:

  • Developing good habits, i.e. producing one complete design/track every two weeks, and eliminating bad ones, i.e. procrastination
  • Securing an internship by the second summer
  • Finalising a list of 5 jobs to apply for by the end of first year, etc.

 

Source: Kathy Kyritzopoulos
Source: Kathy Kyritzopoulos

 

4. Do lots of research

    • Steady, i.e. requires long-term commitment, often with slow but steady progress in knowledge and achievements such as research-based careers, the financial and medical field.
    • Linear, i.e constant upward mobility, e.g. positions in sales and teaching
    • Transitory, i.e. constantly seeking for independence and variety, e.g. freelance jobs, careers in the arts
    • Spiral, i.e. cyclical changes, usually every five to seven years, but eventually moving upwards
    • Unpredictable, i.e. entrepreneurial pursuitsTypes of career pathway
  • Where the resources are, i.e. personal contacts, books and guides
  • Seek advice from school counselors, seasoned employees, etc.

 

5. Be prepared

Be ready for a job opportunity anytime by:

  • Keeping track of your accomplishments
  • Maintaining an updated resume, both online and offline
  • Constantly perfecting skills you’ve identified as important for the career you’re aiming for
  • Sharpening your communication skills
  • Developing a professional working attitude, e.g. when communicating with representatives from companies, answering phone calls to arrange for interviews, etc.
  • Remembering that career planning is eventually a lifelong process and closely intertwined with personal development

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Sources:

http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com career/4-major-steps-involved-in career-planning-process/35295/

http://www.careercentre.dtwd.wa.gov.au/CareerPlanning/Pages/CareerPlanning-4StepPlanningProcess.aspx

http://www.careerliftoff.com/how_to_choose_a_career.html

http://www.educationplanner.org/students/career-planning/find careers careers.shtml

http://slideshare.net/kesiamargot/career-planning-presentation?related=1

 

Image sources:

http://weknowmemes.com/generator/meme/Upvoting-Obama/11195/

http://kathykyritzopoulos.blogspot.sg/p/student-goal-setting.html

http://getcollegecredit.com/blog/article/the_ultimate_guide_to_finding_community_college_scholarships

 

Infographic template sources:

http://www.freepik.com/free-vector/cycle-infographic-design_765186.html

http://www.freepik.com/free-vector/recreational-activities-icons_715816.html

http://www.freepik.com/free-vector/student-illustration_795232.html

http://www.freepik.com/free-vector/educational-future-concept_776917.html

Hong Van Nguyen

A student studying Electronic Commerce in National University of Singapore. Enjoys writing about music, life and guitars.

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