Make a Career Plan

Career planning is a process that involves exploration, preparation, and decision making. With help from the Career Connections Center you can develop short term career goals and an action plan that will help guide you during your career development process.

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mcp1The Career Decision Making Process

Create a Vision

With creating a vision, you need to assess your values, interests, personality, skills, wants, needs, and other factors that are important to you.

Ask Yourself:

  • If I am guaranteed to be successful and earn a good living, what type of work would I want to do?
  • Where would I live?
  • What kind of environment would I want?
  • What would my work and personal relationships be like?
  • What would my average day look like?

Narrow Your Choices

There are a number of ways to assess your career options. You might prioritize them according to how closely they match your overall goal. Or you might compare them in terms of advantages, disadvantages, and potential outcomes.

Your decision making process is unique to you, think back to other decisions you have made in the past. What process did you use to narrow down your choices?

Use tools, information, and resources on the Explore page to help guide you.

Set Flexible Choices

Effective goal setting is an important part of the career planning process. It is also important to be flexible when setting and attaining your goals.

Think of career planning like the weather. There is a reason meteorologists can only predict weather a few days out-not weeks, months, or years. There are many factors that affect weather like humidity, temperature, wind, ocean currents, and location. There are too many factors affecting the weather to accurately predict too far in the future. Careers are the same way. Begin thinking about your future plans in a way that emphasizes the things that you can do right now.

A common strategy used when setting goals is the use of SMART Goals.

Specific
Measurable
Achievable
Realistic
Time Specific

mcp2Adapt and Reflect

During the process you may encounter a roadblock. This is something unexpected that might be standing in the way of you achieving your goal. This could as personal as fear of the unknown to changes in the job market. The two most important ways to overcome your roadblocks are to clarify the problem and a potential solution. 

Ask these questions to help clarify the problem:

  • Why am I stuck?
  • Which steps am I getting stuck on?
  • What information/skills am I missing?
  • What assumptions am I making? Are they valid? Could there be a different perspective?
  • What makes this seem unmanageable?
  • What am I trying to do myself that I should seek help for?
  • What/who is blocking me?
  • Is the problem external, or is it internal?

Ask these questions to help clarify a solution:

  • If I had to make this happen, how could I?
  • What is one step can I take?
  • What one change could I make that would have an impact?
  • Where can I find the information I need?
  • Who can I brainstorm solutions with?
  • Who can help me? How?
  • How could I shift my perspective?

Be Open to New Experiences

During the decision making process it is important to be open to new experiences; you never know when a small chance encounter will lead you in a new direction. Along the way it is important to take time to think about what the next steps are for you on your path.

Ask Yourself

  • Has this new experience changed anything?
  • Do you need to revisit your goals or vision?

Need Help Along the Way?

We are here to help you connect the dots. Find out how we can help you make your career plan.

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