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Career Planning

Career planning is the process that allows you to discover strengths and interests which later can help with looking for a job or field you can invest in. It includes simple steps which can be used to make sure that chosen career satisfies your interests, goals and passions.


Step 1. Self-Exploration


First, you need to determine your needs, strengths, personality, skills and talents. What is self-exploration? It is being able to describe your unique characteristics clearly and accurately regarding what you do well (skills), what is important to you (values), and what you like to do (interests). Review and analyse your past and present experience. Ask yourself : What kind of activities do you like? What types of work do you enjoy? What subjects do you enjoy studying? What kind of people do you enjoy being around? Being honest answering those questions will help you narrow down career options and eventually pick the one that meets your requirements.


2. Career exploration


Based on the list of your qualities you can start looking for careers that you might be interested in. Determine for each: typical on-the-job duties, qualifications, outlook, salary, methods of entry, etc. How do your skills, values and interests correspond to the types of work you are considering? Gather basic information about careers on your list by researching, talking to people who already work in the field that you prefer.


3. Career experimentation


After you narrowed down career list find ways to experience each of your possible careers, such as: Informational interviews - ask a professional if they agree to answer your questions regarding your chosen job. Job shadowing: Spend a day, week or another short period of time observing a professional on the job. Volunteering: Some organizations may allow you to volunteer for tasks that your ideal role would handle to gain more hands-on experience. Courses: Consider taking courses related to possible career choices which can help you understand the basics of your future job.


4. Decision-making and career selection


Weight advantages and disadvantage of chosen career options. Make a list with ranking from the job you prefer the most. Take your time, you may have to do secondary research at this step. Consider looking for the secondary options.


5. Final planning and action


Gather all the information you have learned and determine an action plan. This plan should include background information, such as your employment history, education, level of training, volunteer and other unpaid experience. It should also include your professional licenses or certifications, the results of the self-evaluations mentioned in the first section, and career counselor advice you have received. Make a list of your main goals and keep them in mind while starting your career path.


6. Use your career plan to begin your job search.


Identify specific roles and companies you’re interested in applying to, and compare those preferences and requirements to your career plan. See if there are steps you still need to take or if you’re qualified to apply.If you receive a job offer, determine whether the salary, benefits, location, work-life balance and responsibilities match your self-assessment and action plan.

Once you’ve read the text on the topic, it’s time to test your knowledge.

Solve the following practice exercises!

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