How to Effectively Plan for your Career?

Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life: ‘Choosing a job you love involves careful planning. The following steps (Guffey, 2007) will help you discover important details about your interests and experience: knowing your interests, assessing your qualifications, searching for a job posting, and researching on courses in college. 

1. Determining your interests.

The first step in the job search is to reflect on what you like and dislike. The following questions, taken from the Youth Services website of the Canadian Government (2008) and from Guffey (2007), will help you analyze your interests and make wise decisions about the rest of your application. Answer them as honestly and comprehensively as you can. 

  • What are you good at? 
  • What do you care about? 
  • What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? 
  • What do you enjoy learning about? 
  • What frustrates you in the world? 
  • What subjects do you find the most interesting at school? 
  • What do people ask you for help with? 
  • Do you enjoy working with people, data, or things? 
  • Would you like to work for someone else or be your own boss? 
  • How important are salary, benefits, technology support, and job stability? 
  • How important are working environment, colleagues, and job stimulation? 
  • How would you describe the perfect job, boss, and coworkers?
  • Would you rather work for a large or a small company? 
  • Must you work in a specific city, geographical area, or climate? 
  • Are you looking for security, travel opportunities, money, power, or prestige? 

2. Assessing your qualifications.

Once you have identified your interests and weighed your priorities, need to evaluate your skills and experience. As much as possible, you shout( honest and realistic about your abilities, because potential schools and employers will require evidence of your qualifications. This will help you determine what include in your resume. The questions below (Guffey, 2007) will help you think more deeply about the skills that you have:

  • What technology skills do you have? Are you knowledgeable in specific, computer programs? 
  • What are your experiences in working with people and teams? Which classroom and extra-curricular activities and projects will show these? 
  • What are those instances that you have led others? Which experiences I show your leadership abilities? 
  • What project management skills have you acquired? What were your specific, duties in these? 
  • What problems have you helped solved? What did you do to help provide solutions? How do you research, analyze, and manage information? 
  • What other unique skills have you picked up in school or in another job? What are those that show your creativity? How can you show that you have these skills? 
  • How would you rate your speaking and writing skills?

While answering these questions, it would be good to start a habit of keen a file containing all of your activities, awards, volunteer work, leadership roles, certificates, and other documents. These will help you remember the experience you have gained and guide you in writing your resume. 

3. Selecting an academic track and searching for a college course or a vocational school.

If you are planning to go on to tertiary education, at this point you can s considering what course or track you want to take up. The College Board (2015) advises: 

  • Look for degree programs that are in line with your interests. 
  • Think about the subjects that you like in school and your extra-curricular activities.
  • Consider the jobs of your family members and ask them for advice. You ask them to explain what they do in their jobs. 
  • Talk to your other friends and find out how they get their career ideas. 
  • Research on the careers that are most in demand or the new jobs that h many opportunities. You may want to look into the skills required, dec, programs preferred, benefits of the job, and trends in employment.

After you have thought about a prospective job, you can now consider what track you want to take as you move on to senior high school. You may also use the previous questions to guide you. Remember that while it is always better to have an idea of what you want to do, your plans do not have to be set in stone—you do not have to be 100% sure on a program before you start college. Many students shift majors or careers later on, so allow room for flexibility. 

4. Searching for a job.

You may also decide to start working immediately after high school, or while you are studying. It will be helpful to start researching on jobs that suit your qualifications and interests. The following are some ways to perform a job search:

  • Use the Internet. There are many job search websites that provide resources on career planning. These include job vacancies, salaries, and qualifications. You can use search engines, company websites, or employment databases to help your search.
  • Apply for a part-time role, summer job, or internship in the career field you are interested in. This will give you valuable first-hand experience in the future job you are considering.
  • Read the classified ads in the newspaper or the Internet. This will give you an idea of the job market and the qualifications that you need to develop. 

Now that you have assessed your qualifications and researched on jobs you are interested in, you will be ready to write your resume