When you are doing some career planning for success there are some very important things to take into consideration.
While it is tempting to just jump into the first job that comes along, if you want to have a job that will turn into a career, a career that not only makes you happy but is also lucrative and satisfying, then some planning is necessary.
What kind of things? Let me tell you!
#1 – Take it one step at a time…
The most important piece of advice that I give to my career-seeking clients is, when career planning, to start at the beginning.
So many of my clients know that they want to jump to another job but then start thinking that they could never find what they want. And if they do find what they want their resume won’t be ready, and even if they get their resume ready they won’t be qualified, and if they do get the job they are going to hate their work hours, and on and on.
So, when you are embarking on a search for a career, start at the beginning. If you find yourself jumping to that place that you are going to hate your new work hours then you are never going to get your career planning started. You will falter before you even take the first step.
So take that first step. Make yourself a resume. A resume is an essential tool for getting your career started. Really, without one, it’s almost impossible. If you can’t do it yourself, seek examples from the internet or hire someone to help you build one that is professional and profiles you at your best.
#2 – …but think long term.
While it essential to start at the beginning of your career planning, it is also very important that you think long term.
Many of us just take the first job that is offered to us and by doing so trap ourselves on a career path that we can never get off.
It is essential, when career planning for success, to try to glimpse ahead to the future-you and visualize what in that future you would like to be doing.
Does the future-you want to be working 24/7, wearing designer clothing and jet setting all over the world? Or does the future you want to be working in your neighborhood, changing lives and making a modest living?
Spend some time thinking about who you want to be in 10, 20, maybe even 30 years. Once you get familiar with that person it will help direct your career planning.
#3 – Know what you are interested in and what your talents are.
Once you have your resume ready and you have some sense of where you want to be in 10 years, it’s time to start taking a good look at identifying what kind of career you are most suited for.
There are two sides to finding what kind of career might suit you.
The first is to identify what really makes you excited in the world. What is the kind of thing that gets you out of bed in the morning? Identifying what really excites you is a good place to start as far as figuring out what kind of career you might want to pursue.
The second is to identify what your skills are. This is an important piece because while you might LOVE to be professional basketball player you might not have the skills to do that. But maybe you do have excellent organizational skills so you could work for a professional team or somewhere in the team’s organization.
If you don’t have a clear idea of what your passion is, or what you are good at, then taking some personal assessments can be a good idea.
These assessments will help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses and clarify things that you might find passion for.
There are plenty of great assessments out there. Google ‘career self assessments’ and find one that works for you!
#4 – You don’t have to check all the boxes.
Once you have a sense of who you are and what you want and where you want to be in 10 years AND you have a great resume then it’s time to start applying for jobs.
Apply for jobs and apply for jobs. Getting as many resumes out there as you can is the best way to get an interview.
And just so you know, when you apply for jobs, you don’t have to check all the boxes – you don’t have be every single thing and have every single qualification that is listed in the job posting.
One big difference between men and women in the career world is that men have no problems applying for jobs for which they aren’t 100% qualified. They know that if they can just get in the door they can convince a prospective employer that they are the guy for the job.
Women don’t do this. Women believe that in order to be qualified for a job they must fit every criteria listed and this just isn’t true. You might not have every skill that is listed but you do have others that might be even better or something the HR person didn’t even know they needed
So shoot for the stars. Apply for jobs that are within reach, and even just a little beyond, even if your skills and experience don’t match up exactly with what they are looking for.
I mean, you don’t want that guy to get YOUR job, right?
#5 – Get the word out there.
There is no better resource for job opportunities then with people who already know you.
In this digital world that we live in, it’s tempting to do all of your career planning and job applying online. Linked In and Facebook are great but there truly is no better way to get the career of your dreams then by using your personal connections.
Once you have decided what career path to take then it’s time to brainstorm about who you know who might be able to help you with inroads to a great company. When you have some names, call them or send them an email and ask if they might have some time to talk.
When you meet, be prepared with questions to ask. How did you get started in the business? Where do you see the business going in the next few years? Do you have any advice for me as far as getting started?
Questions that indicate you are interested and knowledgeable. And hirable.
So brainstorm about who you know and get yourself out there. You will be happy you did!
#6 – Know yourself.
More than anything, the key to career planning for success is knowing yourself.
As you embark on the job search you are going to have influences from all over. Your father is going to be sure that you need to be a lawyer. Your mother is going to want you to not stray too far from home. Your friend is going to tell you that you HAVE to work for Saks and your boyfriend will want you to start that small business with him.
All of those things are FINE but make sure that any decisions you make are right for YOU. Making career decisions based on what other people want is not good career planning for success. In fact, you might be setting yourself up to fail.
Career planning for success is an essential part of living the life of your dreams.
For many of us, our work will be a significant part of our lives for 50 years and we want to make sure that we spend as much of that 50 years as we can doing what we love.
So, before your start your job search, take inventory. What are your passions and what are you good at? What kind of skills can you bring to a job that might not necessarily be in the job description? Are the decisions that you are making your own?
And don’t get ahead of yourself. Start at the beginning with the end goal in mind.
You can do this. Get that resume done and get it out into the world.
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.