Career planning can be an exciting time. However, people often worry about the process, instead of embracing it. Look at it this way, the future is a blank slate and you can go in a number of different directions. Career planning shouldnt be a time of worry, but a time of hope. People worry that they might choose the wrong career path. Instead, look at the glass half full: you might choose the best possible career.
In order to make that a reality, you need to plan accordingly. You can’t just open the classifieds, point your finger blindly at a job, and say "thats how Im going to spend the rest of my life!" Career planning is life planning, it determines how you might spend the next several decades, if not your entire life up to retirement.
It is no wonder then that people are daunted about making such a long-term commitment. Remember that career planning doesnt just involve what you want to do for a living, nine to five. It also encompasses many other facets of your life.
For instance, when planning a career, you should ask yourself these questions: do you want to make a lot of money? Do you want to live in a big city or a small town? Right there you’ve already started planning a career. Suppose you say that you dont want to make a lot of money but you do want to live in a big city. This narrows your options somewhat because the cost of living is much higher in cities than in small towns or outlying suburbs.
Suppose you want to make a lot of money but want to live away from a big city. There are a number of companies that have corporate offices far away from the city, so this again narrows your choices to certain types of employment.
Of course, the most important question is what exactly you want to do with your time. The main thing to consider is a mixture of skill and enjoyment. How skilled are you at a particular job and how much do you enjoy it. More often than not these two things overlap, as people are skilled at jobs they enjoy, and vice versa.
If you are just entering the workforce, you might not yet know about your skill level, as you may have never held down a full time job. Even so, many of the skills you already have will apply to the job. Take a careful look at jobs in the industry that interests you. If possible, talk to people who are in the profession so you can get a good sense of what it is they do every day. You may just find that youre up to the task.
Whatever the circumstance, you want to know that theres some room for advancement. More than not, a person entering the workforce will have to take an entry-level position. An entry-level position implies that youll be able to climb up the ladder as time goes on. Talking to people in the same industryor, ideally, at the same companywill give you an idea about the rate of advancement.
Too often people take whatever job they can get. Don’t let this be you. When planning a career, try to be a little bit selective. In the long run, you’ll be a lot happier.