Career Planning
Course Objectives
The objective of this course is to inform participants about career planning,
both short and long term, to help guide you along the desired career path
of your choice.You will be introduced to a SWOT analysis to evaluate
your own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your career.
You will learn about marketable job skills and the importance of
networking.
Once a career path is chosen, you will learn effective resume writing and
interviewing skills.
The course covers how to write a quality resume, the importance of cover
letters, helpful tips on what to include and exclude from these documents
and important interviewing techniques that are crucial to landing the job.
After successful completion of this course, you will know what important
skills you should include in your resume and how to prepare for a
successful interview.
Agenda
Here are the topics covered in the Career Planning section of the course:
Short Term Planning
Long Term Planning
Marketable Job Skills
SWOT Analysis
Career Strengths
Career Weaknesses
Career Opportunities
Career Threats
Networking
Where to Network
Networking Strategies
Goals
Objectives
Plan
Short Term Planning
Short term career planning focuses on a timeframe ranging from
the coming year to the next few years.
Here are the steps to creating a short term career plan:
1. Identify your next career move. Narrow down the choices and focus on
one or two careers.
2. Conduct detailed career research and gather information on the careers
that most interest you.
3. Pinpoint the qualifications you need to move to the next step in your
career or to make the move to a new career path.
4. Compare your current profile with the qualifications developed in step 3.
How far apart are the two profiles? F fairly well-matched, it may be time
to switch to a job search. If fairly apart, can you realistically achieve the
qualifications in the short term?
5. Develop a plan to get qualified. Make a list of the types of qualifications
you need to enhance your standing for your next career move. Develop
a timeline and action pan for achieving each type, being sure o set specific
goals and priorities.
Long Term Planning
Long term career planning:
◦ Involves a planning of five years or longer and a broader set of
guidelines and preparation.
◦ Should be more about identifying and developing core skills that
employers will always value while developing your personal and
career goals in broad strokes.
◦ Core workplace skills: Communication (verbal and written),
critical and creative thinking, teamwork and team-building,
listening, social, problem-solving, decision-making, interpersonal,
project management, planning and organizing,
computer/technology and commitment to continuous/lifelong
learning.
◦ Identifying career Trends: How you prepare for future career
changes and developments. Conducting research on careers.
Marketable Job Skills Overview
There are a five main
marketable job skills
that you should not
only be aware of, but
possess and include in
your career planning
assessment.
Research and
Planning
Communication
Human
Relations
Work
Survival
Organization,
Management
and
Leadership
Marketable Job Skills - Communication
Communication: the skillful
expression, transmission
and interpretation of
knowledge and ideas.
Speaking effectively
Writing concisely
Listening attentively
Expressing ideas
Facilitating group
Providing
appropriate
discussion
Negotiating
feedback
Perceiving
nonverbal
messages
Reporting
Persuading
Describing feelings
Editing
information
Interviewing
Marketable Job Skills – Research and
Planning
Research and Planning: the search
for specific knowledge and the
ability to conceptualize future
needs and solutions for
meeting those needs.
Forecasting,
predicting
Creating ideas
Identifying problems
Imagining
alternatives
Identifying
resources
Gathering
information
Solving problems
Setting goals
Extracting important
information
Defining needs
Analyzing
Developing
evaluation
strategies
Marketable Job Skills – Human Relations
Human Relations: the set of
interpersonal skills for resolving
conflict, relating to and helping
Developing rapport
Being sensitive
Listening
Conveying feelings
Providing support
for others
Motivating
Sharing credit
Counseling
Cooperating
Delegating with
respect
people.
Representing others Perceiving feelings,
situations
Asserting
Marketable Job Skills – Organization,
Management and Leadership
Organization, Management
and Leadership: the ability
to supervise, direct and
guide individuals and groups
in the completion of tasks
and fulfillment of goals.
Initiating new ideas
Handling details
Coordinating tasks
Managing groups
Delegating
responsibility
Teaching
Coaching
Counseling
Promoting change
Selling ideas or
products
Decision making
with others
Managing conflict
Marketable Job Skills – Work Survival
Work Survival: the daily skills
that assist in promoting
effective production.
Implementing
decisions
Cooperating
Enforcing policies
Being punctual
Managing time
Attention to detail
Meeting goals
Enlisting help
Accepting
responsibility
Setting and meeting
deadlines
Organizing
Making decisions
SWOT Analysis
In order to accurately evaluate and understand your career planning,
you should conduct a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses,
Opportunities and Threats).
When you look at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and
threats, it can help develop a career direction by matching your
capabilities and experiences with the correct career path you are
looking into.
You can learn more about SWOT analysis at:
http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_05.htm
Career Strengths
Your strengths are the positive aspects of your life that make your
knowledge and work experience different from everyone else.
Examples:
+ Work experience
+ Education
+ Strong technical knowledge within your field
+ Specific transferable skills such as communication, teamwork and
leadership
+ Personal characteristics such as strong work ethic, self discipline,
ability to work under pressure, creativity and high level of energy
+ Good contacts or successful networking
+ Interaction with professional organizations
Career Strengths (Articles)
Here are some good online articles that describe how looking at your
strengths is beneficial to your career planning:
◦ Article on Focusing on your Strengths:
http://www.jobseekersadvice.com/career_advice/articles/focus_on_your_strengths.htm
◦ Article on Assessing Strengths and Weaknesses:
http://interview.monster.com/articles/biggest/
Career Weaknesses
Your weaknesses are the negative aspects of your life that you need to
improve on.
Examples:
– Lack of work experience
– Low GPA or a different major then your career field
– Lack of goals, self knowledge or lack of job knowledge
– Weak technical skills
– Weak business skills, such as leadership, interpersonal,
communication or teamwork
– Weak job-hunting skills or negative personal characteristics such as
poor work ethic, lack of discipline, lack of motivation,
indecisiveness, shyness or too emotional
Career Weaknesses (Articles)
Although you will feel uncomfortable discussing your possible
weaknesses, it may be necessary to do so in an interview.You
should always try to turn your weaknesses into a positive, showing
that you have changed or are trying to apply a change to lessen
these weaknesses.
Here is a good article on how to address interview questions about
your weaknesses:
http://www.careerjournal.com/jobhunting/interviewing/20041006hirsch.html
Career Opportunities
Your opportunities are the positive conditions that you do not
control, but you plan to take advantage of.
Examples:
+ Positive trends in your field that create more jobs
+ Opportunities you could have in the field by enhancing your
education
+ A need for your specific knowledge or skills
+ Opportunities for advancement in your field
+ Geography
+ Strong network of contacts
Career Threats
Your threats are negative conditions that you do not control and you
may not be able to lessen.
Examples:
– Negative trends in your field
– High competition from others in your field with more knowledge
or education
– Limited advancement in your field
– Companies not hiring people with your education or skills
Career Threats (Articles)
Have you ever thought about what could happen to the industry you
are looking into or are currently working in? What would happen if
your type of job was no longer in demand? This is not a pleasant
thought, but proactively thinking about the threats and potential
obstacles in your career planning can help you to direct your
career planning efforts in the right direction.
Here is a good article with a list of potential career obstacles:
http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:z6AHQgyx2ksJ:www.ecu.edu/
e3careers/pdf/jobsearch/IdentifyingObstacles.pdf+career+obstacles
&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=5
Networking
Have you ever heard the phrase “It’s all in who you know?” It’s stated
because it’s true. Many people land jobs because they form a
relationship with another person who can help them along their
career planning path. For this reason, network contacts often turn
out to be the best source of information.
◦ They provide you with information about careers.
◦ They counsel you in interests, skills, experiences and goals.
◦ They generate job leads.
Where to Network
Networking can happen anywhere, if
you keep your eyes open to the
opportunities that exist around you
in your everyday activities.
Here are a few great places to
network:







One to one meetings
Conferences and Conventions
Career or Job Fairs
Academic/Training Settings
Networking meetings
The Internet
Social/Community settings
Networking Strategies
Networking with others to further your career path is not as hard as
it may sound. It can be as easy as starting up a conversation with a
person in a training session to calling an executive and building a
relationship.
No matter how you network, you should have a strategy for what you
can get out of the networking session.
A networking strategy consists of:
 Establishing well-defined goals
 Setting objectives to reach those goals
 Creating a plan to meet those objectives
Goals
Goals are an end you are striving to reach by various means.
Goals should:
 Reflect your own values, not societies
 Be realistic and Attainable, not fantasies
Objectives
Objectives are the “mini goals” along the way to a goal.
Objectives should be:
 Measurable
 Realistic
 Logical means to a desired end
Plan
A plan is a “to do” list consisting of actions that will lead to objectives
being met.
A plan should:
 Be systematic
 Balance quantity and quality
 Fit your personal style
 Fit your goals
 Be based on thorough preparation
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Career Planning - Technical Writing Service