Career planning is the first step you want to do for managing your career change journey. It’s like starting out or starting over from the beginning — when you searched your first career or job. Whether or not you carefully chose your existing career you’d better start your career planning now.
If you’ve made a well-researched career choice then you’ll easily spot your problem and avoid it from occurring for your next career search. Or, if you haven’t made a careful career choice chances are you face a boring job but you don’t know why you end up with the occupation.
Steps to Plan Your Midlife Career Change
This self-help career planning is similar to a service provided by any career counselor. If you aren’t comfortable to work through the process yourself you may contact a local career counselor as your facilitator.
But just because you do it yourself doesn’t mean the quality of your own efforts will be less than a career counselor help. The amount of thought you put into choosing an occupation not only will reward you with career choices it also provides an enjoyable planning process. Here are the steps:
- Self Assessment. At this step take several career tests to find out your own characteristics — your values, aptitudes, interests, and personality — as well as your goals. Many career assessment services offer self-assessment and career alternatives at their test reports. Your job is to select your best career.
- Career Research. Based on the results of your career tests you may want to start researching industries and job market to find occupations that would be suitable to your characteristics.
- Career Decision. By weighing the pros and the cons of both your current job and your desired career choices you can set your short and long-term career objective.
- Action Plan. Once you’ve made your career change decision back it up with an action plan and add enough reasons in the plan to keep you move forward. This is especially true for acquiring the extra education to get knowledge and skills required for the new work.
- Market Yourself. Finally, you need to master job hunting skills from writing cover letters and resumes to studying job interview techniques so that you are able to sell yourself to prospective employers.
Career Planning Mistakes You Want to Avoid
If you made you first career plan but failed to achieve the goals, what should you do? Blame your luck or review your career plans? Learn how to make your career change plan works by improving your goal setting process.
I found out at least two reasons most people fail in career planning: unrealistic goals or not working hard enough to achieve them.
When I reviewed my first career plan I found out that peer pressure was a dominant factor that influenced my career decision. I didn’t know that I should choose a career I’m passionate about. In fact, I selected a line of work because my friends were doing so. That was a mistake because each person has their own unique strengths, weaknesses and potentials.
I failed to achieve my career goals because they are too vague. My goal wasn’t specific enough so I ended up frustrated. Also, before I set own my goal, I wasn’t aware of what it would take for me to succeed. As a result, the goals are hard to achieve and I felt like a failure.
Fortunately, I finally realized that I could turn the situation around for my second career plan. I started with learning about the fact that setting effective goals could help me get where I want to be. This way helped me set more realistic goals and finally reached them as planned.
So… Career planning does take careful thought, research and hard work. Whatever career situation you may have now, make sure you craft your career plan that allows you to experience less-stressful career transitions and get a perfect career.