The Importance and Stages of Career Planning
Planning your career allows you to:
- Have a detailed career plan from the very beginning
- Avoid having a job that you can’t stand
- Increase your earning potential by having a job that gives you good income
When planning your career, you should make sure that your plans are realistic and not overambitious. Remember that career planning is not something that you make only in the beginning of your career, but it’s an ongoing process, in which you will be engaged throughout all your working life. There are short terms career plans, which allow you to plan your career for the following five years and there are long terms career plans, which you can use to develop your career strategy up to ten years ahead.
Stages of career planning
STAGE 1. Self-assessment
The first thing, which you have to realize, is what you’re good at. In order to reach this goal, you can use SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for ‘strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats’. This technique is usually applied to business analysis, but it can also be applied to assessing the abilities of a certain person. Take a piece of paper and identify the strengths, weaknesses, abilities and knowledge you have. That kind of analysis will clearly show you what sort of work you’d better avoid, and what sort of work and in which industry will perfectly fit you.
STAGE 2. Choosing a career path
Once you know your strengths, weaknesses and abilities, you can explore different careers that fit your type of personality. When working on the second stage of career planning, decide what salary you want to earn and what kind of work you like doing.
STAGE 3. Research the options
Now, when you know the direction, you should start gathering the data about the job roles that you want to pursue. Research every appropriate job role very scrupulously and analyze such aspects as salary, responsibilities, work conditions, as well as skills and personal qualities necessary for these positions.
STAGE 4. Asses the realism of your career plan
You may choose to become an astronaut, but this desire will be impossible to fulfill. Asses yourself to see whether you have the skills, abilities and qualifications for a chosen career. If you find out that you don’t have the necessary training and you can’t get it, then that job is not for you. If you don’t have the time and money to get the necessary knowledge and training, that job isn’t a good fit for you either.
STAGE 5. Set your career goals
If you’re happy with your choices and see that they are realistic, you can now go to the stage of setting precise career goals. Crate the list of actions with time limits and make them happen.
STAGE 6. Review your progress
Make sure that you’re following your plan, but try to be flexible as no one is insured from contingencies.
Make the best use of career planning to reach all your career goals.