There’s an old saying: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” Unfortunately, you may end up somewhere you don’t want to be. The same is true of planning a career or occupation in life. If you simply “fall into” a job or occupation, it may provide you with some needed income, but it may not be the kind of work you are prepared to do for a long time. It’s better to take more control of your future by planning for a specific kind of work or occupation. This is what career planning is all about.
A career plan is like a road map that guides you to a job or occupation in life. Planning a career is a different experience for everyone. There is no single way to go about it. Each person will have a variety of experiences and explore possibilities that are different from those of others. However, there are two facts that are true for most circumstances:
- If you don’t know what careers exist for you, you can’t plan to achieve them;
- If you don’t know what your skills, abilities, and activities that you enjoy are, you won’t know what kinds of things you will be able to do.
So, planning a career is really about exploring the possibilities—what kinds of careers exist—and examining them against your likes, dislikes, skills and abilities. When you find a career that you think you would like, you can then take the necessary action to achieve that goal, and that usually means choosing the kind of education and training you’ll need to qualify for the career you’ve chosen.
The best plans are those you do yourself. You also need to write them down, so you can refer to them, revise them, and remind yourself of them. Fortunately, there are many resources to help you choose a career and map your way to achieving it.