How To Create A Career Roadmap
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A career roadmap serves as a tool to guide you to a job or profession. After graduating from high school, many people feel unsure about their next steps. Even if you’re sure that you want to go to college, you may feel undecided about a career roadmap. A few easy steps will help you craft a plan for your future.
Assess Your Interests and Goals
A career roadmap template begins with a self-assessment. Take the time to look inward at your own interests and strengths. Visit a college or high school career center and take a formal assessment to learn more about the potential careers that are a good match. You can create your own self-assessment by answering the following questions:
- What are my strengths?
- What are my weaknesses?
- Which classes do I like best?
- What classes do I like least?
- What’s my definition of an “exciting” career?
If you’re going to college, ask for a list of majors. Cross out all of the majors that are of no interest to you. Rank the remaining majors in order, from those that interest you most to those that interest you least. Talk to a career counselor or google jobs that are associated with the top three on your list. Choose one or all three as career roadmap examples to investigate further.
Research Job Options
Once you’ve engaged in a self-assessment, begin looking into the career options that are associated with your top interests and strengths. It’s important to learn as much as you can about the job responsibilities, salary potential, job outlook and education needed to be competitive. Try interviewing someone who is working in the field to learn more about the relevant job details.
Compare Your Strengths to Career Opportunities
As you learn more about the jobs that interest you, compare your strengths and skills to those that are necessary for each career field. Inventory the education and experience that you need to prepare for the job. Continue building your career road map by evaluating the time that it would likely take to meet the requirements of the job. For example, if preparation for your top career field requires 10 years of time and you want to enter the job market quickly, you may need to go to the second choice on your list.
Create a Career Roadmap
Every career roadmap template contains a few key components. Answer these questions to create a guide that will help you chart your personal, professional journey:
- What education do I need for this career?
- Which major is the best fit?
- How much time will it take?
- Do I need a minor?
- Will I need to go to graduate school to qualify for this profession?
- What extracurricular activities will bolster my ability to get this job?
- How can I network with potential employers?
- Who do I know to open doors for me?
- Is this career choice a good fit for me and my family?
- Will I need to move to work in this profession?
- How will I pay for the education or training?
- Will I need to be away from my family to prepare for this profession?
- Is this job attainable?
- Does opportunity exist for long-term advancement in this career field?
Enter the Job Market
The final category on a career road map is your job search and the next steps you need to take to pursue it. Creating a resume and applying for jobs are important tasks in this category. Finally, be sure that your career roadmap has a long-term career goal listed. For example, if you want to be a CEO of a company, outline the steps that are necessary to reach this goal.
Dr. Kelly Meier has a doctorate in Educational Leadership and has 30+ years of experience in higher education. She is the author and co-author of 15 books and serves as a consultant in K-12 and higher education with Kinect Education Group. She is the co-owner of a small business and a regular contributor for The Equity Network. She has numerous publications published by Talico, Inc., DynaTEAM Consulting, Inc. and <a href="http://www.kinecteducationgroup.com">Kinect Education Group</a>.