Our 3-step action plan will guide you through the process of finding a career choice that matches your skills, interests, experiences and needs.
Step 1: Self-assessment
A) ASSESSMENT OF LIKES AND DISLIKES
What I enjoy doing:
In this section make a list of your interest and likes. It could be hobbies, things you do in your spare time, fields that interest you. Here are a couple of questions that might help you to discover your true passions:
- what are your hobbies, what activities do you enjoy in your spare time: e.g. creative hobbies, sports, cooking, gardening, DIY, travelling, learning new things, meeting new people
- what type of magazines do you enjoy reading
- which magazines are you subscribed to, what sections / columns do you check out first in daily newspapers
- what type of TV programs do you watch
- are there any special programs that you follow regularly, any channels (e.g. food channels, history channels, etc.)
- what are the websites that you check out regularly
- what do you enjoy talking about with other people
What I don’t like doing:
In this section list job related things that you have a dislike for. E.g: waking up early, doing administrative work, working under stress, working in team / solo, negotiating with business partners, etc.
B) ASSESSMENT OF STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
Sometimes people can’t really decide what they should choose as a career path because there are many interests in their life, but none of them is strong enough to stand out from other interests. In cases like this the obvious way to select a career choice is by finding out what you are very good at.
Make a list of the skills and talents that you possess. Often we don’t even consider that what comes easy for us might be a real struggle for others, that we have skills which are transferable into money. Skills, people would pay for if we offered them as a service. Personality tests are a good way to find out about your strengths and weaknesses.
E.g: learning new things easily, being good in foreign languages, being empathic, good communications skills, strategic thinking, being creative, etc.
Make a list of the things that you are not very good. It will help you to avoid career choices where skills are required that you lack in.
C) PREVIOUS QUALIFICATIONS
This should be a list of your formal training and education. Apart from your main training – college, university, etc – write down additional courses that you took. Language courses, special interests, computer courses, professional courses, trainings provided by your previous employers, etc.
Add the level of qualifications and the date of when you completed the trainings and courses.
D) TRANSFERABLE SKILLS, EXPERTISE GAINED FROM JOBS
Here you should list expertise and knowledge that you didn’t gain within the confines of a formal training, but in real life, on the job. You can also list skills that you were forced to learn and hone at the workplace. E.g: multi-tasking, delegating jobs, organizational skills, time management skills, spotting opportunities, handlings risks, etc.
Step 2: Research career choices
After assessing your interests, skills and strengths research career options that match your skills. Make a list of 5 – 10 potential options.
CAREER CHOICES AND YOUR NEEDS
Test the career choices on your list that you wrote down in the previous section, from the point of view of your personal needs.
- is that career in harmony with your family needs
- is that career in synch with your health needs
- does that career match your spiritual needs
- does that career match your financial needs
And finally there is a very important factor that you have to consider:
- is there a market for that career?
This little test will help you to eliminate a few career choices on your list and narrow down the number of potential choices.
REQUIRED TRAINING FOR YOUR CAREER CHOICE
Depending on your career choice there is a chance that you will need to undergo further training to be able to enter your new career. If that is the case, consider its financial consequences. First, there is cost for the training itself (tuition fee, cost of text books and other learning materials). Then, you need to calculate the cost of training in terms of time. If it is a full time training, you won’t be able to have a full time job during that period. There will be a shortage in income for you. And for how long depends on the duration of the course and traing you need to take.
For each career choice still on your list write down the required trainings, the cost of the training and the duration of it. Analyze what you can afford financially and what you can’t.
Determine who could help you in your career transition. Write down the name of contacts, potential mentors, organizations for each career choice still on your list.
Step 3: Select your dream career and set objectives
MY NEW CAREER CHOICE IS
After exploring potential career choices from the different aspects detailed above you should select the most likely and prosperous career choice for your future. Write down your decision: what is that career that you want to enter, how would you picture yourself in that career.
CAREER GOALS: WHERE I WANT TO BE IN 3 YEARS
A career plan is only complete if you express your future goals and objectives related to your career. Write a short summary of where you want to be in 3 years in your new career, what goals you want to have been achived by that time.
CAREER GOALS: WHERE I WANT TO BE IN 5 YEARS
A five-year planning is not too distant but still not that close. Write down where you picture yourself in 5 years time in your new career.
CAREER GOALS: WHERE I WANT TO BE IN 10 YEARS
Plan for the long run. Don’t be shy about plotting ambitiously about your career. Write down where you want to be in your career in 10 years and beyond, what goals you want to achive, what are your objectives.
That’s it, now you are finished for the time being with the planning. Of course, every plan should be revised from time to time, and chances are that your objectives will change in the coming years. But having a clear idea about what you want and how you want to achive it is alwas the best starting point.