career planning is a lifelong process, which includes choosing an occupation, getting a job, growing in our job, possibly changing careers and eventually retiring. This may happen once in our lifetimes, but it is more likely to happen several times as we first define and then redefine ourselves and our career goals. Career planning is a conscious, deliberate process through which a person becomes aware of his individual skills, knowledge, interests, motivations and other attributes; acquires information, opportunities, options, recognises and identifies career-related goals and builds action plans to attain these goals.
Steps in Career Planning:
- The first key step in career planning is to collect information about yourself to help make a career decision. This includes learning about the development needs, skills aptitudes, values, your realities, preferred environments, roles and interest.
- The second step in career planning is to explore your choices and investigate them. Your self-assessment takes you one step even further by looking at your self-interests, abilities, values and work-life needs and narrowing it down to areas of opportunity. This comprises of researching about the industries in which you would like to work, exploring the occupations in which you are interested and also researching about the labour market.
- After completing your self-assessment and exploring your options, you should be ready to make some career decisions. Now the question is how do you decide? This is done with the help of aligning the needs and opportunities to oneself. The person should identify possible outcomes, evaluate these outcomes, explore the alternatives and choose both a short-term and long-term option.
- Getting experience connected with your career can help you in creating knowledge and skills to strengthen your career objectives. This contains developing a job search strategy, investing sources of additional training and education, writing the resume, gathering information about companies, composing a cover letter, preparing job interviews.
- Implementation is the last step in process of implementing what you have learned and moving towards a new job or further education. You should also continue to assess your choices and make alterations, if necessary.