Career Planning

Career Planning
 Think about your future career and identify the following:
 Skills – Technical/Academic
 Strengths – Communications/Writing/Leadership
 Interests – Ask yourself some basic questions….
What do you like to do?
What do you not like to do?
What makes you feel good about yourself?
What do you want to accomplish in your lifetime?
What makes you happy?
Do you prefer to work alone or in groups?
Do you prefer consistent daily activities or constant change?
Additional Questions - What are your general plans in life: marriage, big family, no
children, freedom to travel, early retirement, etc.?
 Research the career requirements
 Level of Education – BS/MS/Phd
 Licenses – Real Estate/Insurance/Financial Industries
 Certifications – Mortgage Broker/School Teacher
Additional Questions - What is your current life situation? If you choose a career that
requires additional education, would you need to work as well? Full or part-time? Will
you soon be looking after babies, children, or even elderly parents that might require
more time than some occupations will allow?
Ways to gain experience and knowledge about careers:
Public Information – Most colleges have very detailed occupational guides, but
you can also find a wide range of information and detail online and in magazines.
For example, U.S. News and World Report puts out a yearly guide as to pay
scales that can be expected for that year’s college graduates in a variety of fields.
Shadow – Find someone actually performing the occupation you are interested in
and gain permission to follow them throughout a typical day. This works even
better if you can extend it through a full week or two.
Internships – Especially in the government arena, unpaid internships are quite
common venues for gaining experience in a particular occupation while
investigating it. However, business and industry has a wide range of internships as
Apprenticeships – Don’t forget that many established Masters in trade fields will
offer apprenticeships to people wanted to learn more about that specific trade.
One of the benefits of this route is that often they are paid positions.
Volunteer Work – Never overlook the possibilities of volunteering within the
general career area that you are considering. The possibilities are virtually
Career assessment tests: Do your interests, skills and aptitude match
your job choice?
Research these tools on-line to help you identify skills, abilities, and interests. There are
two primary kinds of career tests:
Performance tests measure how much you know, how well you read and write, how
well you learn, and how skilled you are.
Assessment tests measure personal characteristics like interests, work values, and
personality traits. They don’t have right or wrong answers; there is no need to study for
Assessment tests fall into three categories:
Interest Inventories helps you identify your interests related to the world of work. An
inventory can assist you in identifying training, education, or careers with activities that
you might like doing.
Work Values Instruments allow you to pinpoint what you value in jobs (such as
achievement, autonomy, recognition, support, and conditions of work) and then identify
occupations that share your work values and the characteristics of jobs.
Personality Measures help identify your personal style in dealing with tasks, data, and
other people. An understanding of your personality helps you to make decisions about
training programs, which jobs to apply for, or which career direction to take.