When people think about planning a career, they typically think of the end result, the job they ultimately want to have. It might be a professional job like being a doctor or lawyer which has a clear cut career path. What if your goals aren’t quite so lofty? What if you want to become a business owner or an inventory control manager? What if you aren’t even sure what you want to do? What if you never had the opportunity to go to college? How do you achieve your dreams?
You can take a career assessment test to find out what you are most suited to. There are some online sites that offer free testing. Some are fairly in depth but your best bet is take one at your local community college. The tests they offer are fairly in depth. Further, they will provide you with a professional assessment and most will let you sit down with a career guidance counselor to discuss the results. Once you are armed with this information you can pursue a career that will be both meaningful and advantageous.
Once you have identified what you are suited to, you need to know if you are ready to pursue it. This involves a SWOT analyses. You need to objectively identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your proposed career. This will help you understand area where you need improvement or training before you can proceed. Identifying obstacles and opportunities can lead to a more successful career plan. Then you have to follow through and actually get the training.
As you prepare to embark on a career, it will be beneficial to you to develop and nurture a network of contacts. These are people who may be able to help you find a job in your career field. Start with friends and family by letting them know what you are looking for and what your goals are. Branch out into people you work with in your current position. Develop relationships with people already working in the field as they may be able to give you pointers as well as job leads. Keep in touch with your contacts every few weeks or months. You never know when a new lead might develop.
This is not a skill most people are endowed with. Writing a good resume is an important step in the job-seeking process. It provides an employer with a snapshot of you from a skills and experience standpoint. It is the first impression you will make and it needs to stand out from the rest. If you don’t feel you have the skill to write a sufficient resume, hire someone to do it for you – it is that important.
Along with the resume you will need a killer cover letter. The cover letter picks up where the resume leaves off. While the resume lists statistical information and bullet points about your qualifications, the cover letter is your chance to tell the potential employer why your bullet points are a better match for his company than someone else’s.