To build a good career takes dedication… you can get there with proper career planning and self-reflection. On the contrary, a miss-step in choice may lead to a frustrating life without meaning.
The earlier you begin to plan for a career, the more likely you are to succeed. College is an ideal time to begin. And you don’t even need a major or specific career direction in mind, yet. The key… is to get started!
Here are 13 can’t miss tips to help your initial career planning:
1. Know Yourself
First, get to know yourself; then explore different career options and determine what type of job would suit you best. Keep a clear vision of what to do after completion of your education to achieve that profession.
2. Collect Relevant Information
Collect information related to your dream career and compile any data you can get; analyze the skills, abilities required, then match it with your present skills. What do you have now… what skills do you need to gain?
3. Decide Next Steps
Figure out what you must do to reach the goal; there are multiple ways to get there, so map all the possibilities and take it one step at a time. Consider informational interviews as a method of learning how professionals in that position got there.
4. Start Searching
Start searching for potential companies, contacts and mentors as early as possible; a smart decision or an “ah-ha” moment at the initial stage can bring much better success in the future.
5. Balance Career and Personal Goals
Personal and professional goals should be kept side by side; make sure your plans have equal preference for both. Career is important, so are pursuing your passions, supporting family, volunteering, etc.
6. Build Your Mentor Network
Seek the advice from seniors, influencers, well-wishers and other mentors. Listen to their suggestions carefully and get the clarification on your doubts. Remember, though, the final decision should be taken judiciously.
7. Be Prepared to Pivot
No plan, no matter how well executed, is perfect. Never be afraid to embrace change. Always be willing to pivot, rather than holding steadfast to a plan you’re no longer committed to following.
8. Invest in Yourself
If you feel learning certain courses or gaining specific knowledge is necessary for your career, find out the best institute to get the training. Investing in yourself will never be a loss.
9. Keep Your Parents in the Loop
Parents are often the best teachers, so your future plans should be discussed with them. Sometimes they may not understand your plans, but they almost always try to find out about your path and can give objective advice.
10. Manage Your Time Well
Schedule your time properly, and commit to the schedule you’ve designed. In addition, keep deadlines for each action which help you stay focused in the long run. Basically, make your calendar one of your personal assets.
11. Read, Read and Read More
Read a newspaper or blog every day, use the Internet to stay updated with the latest information and technologies in your chosen field. The more you read, the more relevant your knowledge.
12. Build Relationships
Build relationships and make friendships with like-minded people and influencers within you career path; be in regular touch with them and share ideas. Include professors, colleagues and social media contacts.
13. Discover Infuencers
Find blogs and forums on your chosen career. Comment and engage with the author, audience and the publishers. With a good question, extend the conversation… and be seen as influencer yourself.
Career building is a long journey with many stops along the way. Even with careful planning, launching a career can be a bit stressful. Bby making use of the tips listed above… you’ll give yourself a fantastic start!
What are your tips for college students planning out their careers? Share, in the comments below!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Careertopia!