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Career planning is a lifelong process that can help you manage important life and work decisions. Consider your priorities, options, and strengths to build a plan that gets you where you want to go.
Career planning helps you make decisions throughout your career, whether you are just starting or planning retirement. Follow these 4 steps to plan your career.
Knowing what to do after high school starts with knowing yourself. Take the first steps by understanding your values, interests, and abilities.
The first step in planning your career is to know your values, your interests, and the things you’re good at. It's time to get to know yourself. Take one or more of the quizzes to help plan your career path.
When planning your career, it’s important to explore the occupations you’re interested in. You might even discover opportunities you didn’t know you have.
The second step in planning your career is to explore the occupations you’re interested in and maybe discover some new ones. Find the tools you'll need.
Making big decisions is about taking control of your life. Here’s some advice on how to make important career decisions with confidence.
The third step in planning your career is to make your decision and evaluate your career options. Follow these suggestions to help identify the best option for you.
By now, you’ve decided on your next career move. You also know there will be challenges. It's time to make sure your career move will be a success.
Get where you want to go. It can be exciting to identify a career direction and create a plan to pursue it! At the same time, where you are right now can seem like a long way from where you want to be. These 5 steps will help you take action and shorten the distance between you and your vision of the future.
Your dreams for your future can be powerful motivators. But, to achieve them, you need to set goals. By taking the SMARTER approach, you’ll be better equipped to face challenges and make changes in your life and career.
The third step in planning your career is to make your decision and evaluate your career options. Follow these suggestions to help identify the best option for you.

Compare Your Occupational Options

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You can compare as many as 3 different occupations to find out which ones are better choices for you.

If you're ready to compare and focus your career options, go to Compare Options.

If you're not ready, try the following suggestions:


Find Out Employer's Requirements

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As part of your career plan, you'll need to find out the requirements employers have for the options you choose.

Your Resources for Handling Challenges

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No matter how much effort you put into getting ready to pursue your preferred option, you will probably encounter a challenge or two. It makes sense to recognize potential challenges and plan to overcome them.

Learning Requirements

Find out if you need more formal or informal education.

Working Requirements

Focus on the working requirements for the occupation you are interested.
Youth thinking about what to write in a journal while sitting in a park

Reflect on Your Career Plan

At any point in the career planning process, it's normal to feel overwhelmed. You're gathering information, identifying and comparing options, thinking about next steps. When you're engaged in this process, you're balancing many large and small concerns that could have a profound effect on your future.

What if I make a wrong decision?

Career planning is more than making one big decision about what you'll do for the rest of your life. Career planning is about continually making choices and exploring opportunities.

When you are planning your career, every decision you make, big or small, is a career decision. In this view, everything in your work-related life affects your life outside of work and vice versa. Your decision to compare your career options isn't the Big One - it's simply the next one.

It's time to compare your options. You don't have to make any commitment. You can always move toward or step back from any of the options, at any point. You can also go after several options at the same time.