Career Planning – The Road to Professional Success
Career Planning is the best way to augment a person’s professional roadmap. Looking into his/her past achievements and reflecting on the various successes and failures, the person can assess the correct career path for him/her. It is a surefire way of determining whether a person is on the right career track, and if not, how to rectify the same. Many consider this task as a daunting one, and often put it off by making up various excuses to themselves. But it is something that is quite mandatory and can be done with fair amount of ease, if one is ready to spare that time. One just needs some time alone and a clear understanding of what he/she wants from career.
The basic points to stress upon while planning one’s career are:
1. Making it a pre-scheduled annual event: Career planning should be allocated a good amount of time. A person must be on guard, and give his/her fullest concentration so that the thoughts are clear and unambiguous. The focus of the planning must be on the expectations of the person from his/her career.
2. Mapping the path since the previous year’s career planning: One of the first activities of career planning is to spend time to map out the job and career path, since the last time any sort of career planning was done. One should not dwell on the past, but time should be taken to review and reflect on the path the person trudged on; this will certainly help the person to focus better on his career there on.
3. Reflecting on the likes and dislikes of a person: A person’s likes and dislikes change with time; what was boring at one time may indeed seem viable at a later period of time. A person should spend some time reflecting on the various career options available to him/her, and decide which one seems the most approachable at the moment – but is viable to that person’s abilities and has a long term impact.
4. Examining pastimes and hobbies: Career Planning provides a great time to examine the activities a person has undertaken as a hobby and whether they can be turned into serious career options. Many persons have made a comfortable living by transforming their leisurely pursuits into full-fledged career streams.
5. Making notes of past accomplishments: Most people find it hard to keep track of their work accomplishments. They struggle when they have to create a resume for a new job. Making notes of past accomplishments and maintaining their records not only helps in building the resume, it is also useful for boosting self-confidence.
6. Looking beyond the current job for transferable skills: Each job requires a fixed set of skills, but many skills are common to many jobs. For example, a successful reporter needs a good grasp over language, the ability to create and manage information, the ability to manage deadlines, the skills of editing, researching, writing, investigating, etc. These soft skills can prove to be valuable assets in other career streams like content writing, content creation and advertising as well.
7. Reviewing Career and Job Trends: Possessing a flexible set of skills helps a person find a new job quite comfortably even if his/her career stream is gradually shrinking. The trick lies in the ability to market one’s key skills to the prospective employer. GIVE AN EXAMPLE This can be evaluated easily during a career planning session.
8. Setting career and job goals: No endeavour can be successful without a proper preset target that one strives to achieve. Research shows that a person who has set a target to achieve within the next one year will, in all likelihood, achieve it. Setting up a goal also helps the person track his progress comfortably.
9. Exploring new career or technical learning opportunities: Learning new things or developing new skills is always good for one’s career. For example, a great Content Writer might just spice up his career by picking up some Content Designing skills; whereas a successful Web Developer will certainly find it helpful if he/she picks up some Content Creation skills.
10. Conducting researches for improvement of career: One of the best parts of a career planning session is picturing one’s position in the coming years. This helps him/her to draw up a clear goal of where he might be in the next 5 years. Researching of career paths is a surefire way of doing this. For instance, a good Marketing Manager may indeed picture himself/herself as a CEO early on in his career. This helps him grow up the professional ladder as well..
Last but not the least, career planning is not supposed to be a strenuous activity. Career planning at regular intervals may indeed help a person improve his/her career and become more successful in life. This is a pleasurable job, and should be carried out diligently if a person really wishes to see himself satisfied and successful.
By Preetu Misra