Career planning essentially means that you are taking wise choices to determine the path that you are going to walk through your life. The kind of career that you choose to undertake will affect you financially, emotionally, psychologically and also physically. It is therefore very important that you take career planning seriously.
This is especially true if you look at the different career opportunities that are available today did not even exist a few years ago. More new jobs are opening up and more old jobs are becoming obsolete as well.
You should also have a clear understanding on the jargon involved in career planning. Look at the following words:
At one glance they all seem to mean pretty much the same thing. However, of course there are subtle differences. A machine operator in a factory and the manager of a financial institution both have employment, but the manager would be much more likely to refer to his work as a position. When you become involved in career planning it is also important that you become familiar with these terms:
o Career development
o Career management
o Career counseling
o Career guidance
Each of these terms gives you a systematic approach to make sure that you find the best suited career for you. In most career planning, you have to assess your own planning ability. Identify your long-term and short-term goals.
Make your own decisions and evaluate your own adaptability and resilience. These are going to be very important to you when it comes to meeting challenges. In the career planning process you take stock of your own personal management skills. This will involve lifestyle decisions, job-survival skills, interpersonal skills, role integration and work-leisure integration.
Career planning also means having good personal marketing skills. Can you identify your skills and strengths? Do you know how to conduct an effective job search? What kind of an image do you project? Are you good at selling yourself? Is there anything you can do to make yourself more marketable?
In career planning it is important that you are aware of what kinds of opportunities are out there. You must investigate labor market trends and find out about training opportunities. In all probability you are going to have more than one job or position during your working years.
By using a well thought out career planning approach, you have a better chance of making each employment change a step to a higher place. You will gather relevant skills and experiences, and make yourself an increasingly productive and marketable individual.