Career planning is a lifelong process that can help you manage important life and work decisions. Find out how you can benefit from it.
Not so long ago, most people stayed in the same line of work for a lifetime. Back then, “career” was another word for “job.”
The world has changed. Today, your career is the sum total of all your jobs, your education and your life roles. Planning your career has become an ongoing work in progress. Knowing how to plan your career is an important skill.
Lifelong career planning means you will do certain things over and over again throughout your life:
- Think about your values, needs and preferences.
- Explore your learning, work and life options.
- Ensure your work reflects your personal priorities.
- Adjust your plans to manage the realities of the work world.
Career planning is based on your priorities and realities
Your work and personal priorities will probably change over time. Sometimes the impact can be dramatic. Just think about the impact of having children on your career and life. Career planning helps ensure that your plans reflect your priorities at every stage of your life.
Your work and personal realities will also change. Rapid changes in technology, society and the economy will end some types of work and create new types. Career planning helps you manage these changes in positive and rewarding ways.
Career planning helps you build on what you have
Career planning involves both your life and work. When you engage in lifelong career planning, you build on what you already have. Just think about the assets you have right now:
- Your employability skills. Employability skills are the basic personal and teamwork skills you need to succeed in every workplace. They are sometimes called transferable or soft skills. They include things like reading, writing, working well with others and being positive. No matter what type of work you choose to do, your employability skills travel with you.
- Your specific skills and interests. You develop specific skills through education and experience. They can lead to a successful career. So can the skills you learn through your talents, hobbies and recreational activities. Your skills and interests can take you in new directions. For example, you may develop skills as a volunteer. Later, they could lead to a new job or even to starting your own small business.
- Your feelings about your work and life. Career planning can help you turn your interests, passions or hobbies into a career or small business. Maybe you are bored with your job. Or maybe you’re less sure there’s a future in your line of work. Career planning can help you figure out how and when to make changes.
Lifelong career planning can put you in charge of the changes in your life and work. Give it a try.