The essence of career planning is to help you find a fit between who you are and the right job and how to succeed in it. The first step is to assess your motivations, career interests, skills and talents. This does not occur overnight. Career assessment is a dynamic, on-going process, and it requires you to learn and respond to change, within yourself and in environment within which you work.
Take an Assessment Test
Tests and other career assessments are there to tell you more about yourself and also to tell counselors and employers about you. Tests can help you discover and understand your strengths by identifying areas in which you posses skills, experience and interests. They can also help you better understand the areas you need to make further adjustments. You are able to make decisions about a given career path with more confidence if it matches your interests, talents and strengths. Combined with proper counseling, a test that steers you away from one kind of a career or training program can also help you locate your dream job. Some of the preferable tests and assessments may include achievement tests, ability tests, skills tests and literacy tests.
Key Career Questions
Taking time to identify, understand and reflect on open career questions can trigger new ideas on the direction you might take in your career. These questions provide insightful clues to understand yourself and about the career path you intend to take. Such questions may touch on various areas of interests, including your personality, career dreams and ideas, personal interests and strengths.
Understand Career Options
It is vital to research the different types of careers to gain valuable information of job resources, market information and employment trends. In this step, the key task is to identify information resources that meet your requirements and expectations. Learn about different career options, job culture, areas of specialization within a given work area, current issues and other career factors. Seeking the guidance of a career counselor can provide useful insights about careers and about yourself. You may also consider attending career guidance events and also participate in internship and externship programs to gain a wealth of experience and also to enhance your marketability.
The integration step encompasses both decision-making and action planning. This step is important because it puts you in a position to analyze what you know about yourself and relate it with the reality of the career world. In this relation, you begin to identify career options that are not only practical but also ones that meet your professional qualifications and career expectations.