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Career planning is one of the under-emphasized, but most important aspects to be successful in the competitive world. Having a career plan enables you to organize your short and long-term career goals. It also offers a brief idea about the action you can take to accomplish your goal.

Most of the working professionals, college students, and part time-workers think career planning is something where they need to speed less time or do it once in their whole lifetime. But in reality career planning helps you to discover the best opportunities that can relate to your interests or desires.

Many researchers have found that the average working professional or part-time worker changes their careers at least four to six times in their whole working life. That means career planning is an activity that every college student and working professionals should do at least once a year.

An effective Career plan enables you to make a decision on

  • What type of classes are best for your career,
  • Help you to discover extracurricular activities
  • Best internships for your profile
  • And more to make you a strong candidate for the selected industry.

To succeed in the constantly growing industry you need a career management plan. Every employer wants to hire the best employees who can offer the best value. To become that you need to have a clear goal about your career and that when you need a “Career Plan”.

So let’s dig into some of the important steps that you can consider to develop a strong and effective career plan. Discovering these steps will also help you to identify where you actually want yourself to be placed professionally.

Why is career planning important?

Today most people don’t have a career plan. They just want to get into any job so that they can earn money. But when they ask where do you see yourself in 5 years? Most of them are either blank or give a reply that satisfies the interviewer. No matter where you want yourself to be in 5 years, if you really have a goal then you need to have a career plan.

In your career, if you are stuck or don’t know the next step in your career either you will keep on switching. But these are not the solution to your problems. To land yourself in the right position your need to have a career plan. So let’s identify you need a career plan

  • Having a career plan allows you to drive your life. Instead of letting someone else decide your future, you start creating a plan for your future. 
  • Allows you to come out of default mode and help you to become more specific, dedicated, and structured about your future goals. 
  • Having a career plan allows you to pre-decide what risk you are going to face, how competitive is the market place? And what you can do to separate yourself from others in this particular position. In short, you have a plan that enables you to be successful. 
  • It helps you to learn how you can be arranged and disciplined towards your life and teaches you how you can overcome obstacles in your career. 
  • A career plan allows you to identify how you can grow as a person in your life as well as in your career. 
  • Allows you to be a person you want to be, not someone running behind paycheck and bosses 
  • Lastly, a career plan is considered as the merit plan of your either career which can help you grow and land yourself in the position that meets your interest, priorities, and skills. 

Tips to consider while creating an effective career plan

1. Identify and Learn about Career Options.

Your career planning starts with identifying and learning more about potential career options. It can be done by creating a refined list of career options by exploring different fields, examining your skills, understanding your interest, and more through a self-assessment.  

If you are not sure about your skills and interests, then you can take up a self-assessment test offered by Vati which will help you to identify your inner keenness. Once you are aware of your skills and interest then it will become easy for you to create the right career plan.

Instead of reaching out to different colleagues and friends, you can make decisions based on proven data and results. Sometimes a wrong suggestion can open an unwanted path which you wouldn’t like to walk but will be forced to do that. 

To learn more about career options you can start by reviewing career information, researching companies, and connecting with leaders or industry experts. Well if you are confused about how to start then you can either select each career path individually and carry your research. 

Or you can get access to curated data collected from various industries, companies, and from industry experts to make your selection process more effective and fruitful. Vati bridges the gap between users and various career options by offering a platform that allows people to explore various industries and career options depending on their choice. 

2. Prioritize your skills and interests 

Your career shouldn’t be dependent on the paycheck that other people get working in a high performing industry. Well, there are various high-performing industries that people are not aware of and we will be giving detailed information in the coming paragraph. 

So back on point, your career selection process needs to be more than just focusing on top-performing jobs. Learning more about, what are your top skills? What type of work excites you? What are you keen on? enables you to identify what matters to you. 

To select the right career path you need to prioritize whether you want yourself to land into intellectually challenging work, location-based, family-friendly benefits, or a high-paying job. Prioritizing your interest helps you to make your decision process more effective and resultful. 

Many people keep paycheck as their first priority which is very obvious to survive in the competitive market space. But what if Vati helps you to identify the right career choice that meets your other priorities. 

With the right skill and value assessment, you can set priorities, and depending on that our AI-driven platform and Career advisor will help you to select the best career path. If your priorities meet multiple career options then using our platform you can explore different industries, jobs, and more to select the best one for your future. 

3. Select a career that matches your interest and skills  

To select the best career option that enlightens you and makes you feel confident, compare the most effective and promising created against your skills, interests, and most important priorities. Consider your technical skill as well as your interest to select the best career options for your future. 

When we say technical skills it doesn’t mean you need to have experience in using tools. Skills are generally divided into Hard Skills and soft skills. The main difference between hard skills and soft skills are how those skills are gained and utilized in the workplace. 

A hard skill is gained via education or specific training like using certain tools, software, machines, and more. On the other hand, soft skills are gained over a period of time like people spending time in developing personality traits and more. 

Soft skills are generally developed when you communicate with other people, solve their problems, or confront a tough situation. In simple words, hard skills can be defined as the technical skills people possess and soft skills can be people’s overall habit in their workplace. 

With the right carrier advisor, you can identify what you are best at, and depending on your expertise you can select the right career path. Vati will help you to identify what you are best at, whether you are good at soft skills or hard skills, or have a good knowledge of technical skills.  

Our Career assessment platform helps people to identify their hidden skills and allows them to get in-depth ideas about different career options considering their interests, skills, and priorities.

4. Going Beyond Personal Preferences

By now you may have a clear idea that to select the best career option you need to be aware of your skills, interest, and other priorities. But to make your career selection process more effective we recommend considering factors beyond personal preference. 

Your skills and interest will help you to discover new options but going beyond personal preference will help you to identify the current demand for a particular field. If the demand is low then it will become difficult for you to land in the right job, until and unless you think of starting a new company by yourself (becoming an entrepreneur). 

But again if you think you can make it or consider yourself as a risk-taker then you can always go behind your interests and priorities. Most of the time people commit a mistake by not identifying the potential risk involved behind landing in a less demanding field. 

Vati bridges the gap by offering an advanced career assessment platform that enables you to identify the demand and potential risk in a particular industry or field. In short, our career assessment platform enables you to check what people do after they enter into that particular industry and how difficult it is to get into that particular field. 

5. Learn about career qualification      

After identifying the career option you can start by understanding and reviewing the certificates or degrees you will need to enter into the particular industry. Different industries have different requirements, that’s why it is important to identify whether you will need a graduate degree or advanced certification in a specific subject.  

Well, it’s undeniable that your knowledge defines your expertise but to fulfill some of the requirements, you will need a certificate or degree. For example: if a software engineer wishes to switch his or her career to join the investment banking sector they need to have a degree in finance. 

If you are a working professional and thinking how can we switch degrees at this stage then allow us to help you in achieving your goal. Don’t worry, our career planning platform will help at every stage i.e from identifying the best career choice to helping you select the best degree or certificate, or program.  

Not only that but our platform will also help you in identifying and reviewing the licensure requirement for selected fields depending on different areas to make you legally qualified for the job.   

6. Compare multiple selected career paths 

After identifying and selecting multiple career paths next, you can compare and select a career path that is best for your future. The total number of paths you choose totally depends on skills, interests, and other priorities.  

While going through our platform most of the users end up with multiple career goals, if you don’t then make sure you have one. Multiple career goals enable you to select the best one depending on your situation and comfort. 

Sometimes to enter into a specific industry you may need multiple skills and degrees which could be expensive and time-consuming. Whereas other industries on your list may need less degree and more knowledge which you may be capable of fulfilling.  

Having multiple options also allows you to filter your career option depending on earning potential, demand, location, and many more. Not only that but you can also compare your career potential depending on your core values. 

One of the career options may help you to build personal qualities and relationships. Another may offer you a platform to produce more professional work. Our career assessment platform enables you to compare multiple career options and allows you to explore it individually to make wise and smarter choices.

7. Set SMART Goals 

Since you have a selected career path next comes the most important step to build an action plan for your career goal. While comparing the career option our platform offers full liberty to get in-depth ideas about each option. Once you successfully select an option next you can create a plan to implement your decision.

Undoubtedly it takes years to get in-depth knowledge and functioning of a particular field and industry. But our platform offers curated data collected from experts, working professions, and industry leaders to help you create a more career-focused plan which you accomplish within a short period of time. 

We always recommend people to create a short term plan that allows you to accomplish it within a year and long term plan should not exceed more than 1 to 5 years. Set SMART goals to establish yourself in a  new industry. 

Specific: Try to make your goal as specific as possible. Do a lot of research to find the working culture of different options. Once you are aware then try to make it specific. For example, if you wish to become a trainee then identify what type of training you are going to offer and depending on that you can start securing jobs in your nearby centers so that in the future you can land yourself in a good institute. 

Measurable: No goal is achievable until and unless it is measurable. If you are unaware of your progress then most probably you will either start ignoring your goal or become aimless to accomplish your goal. So you can start by setting benchmarks or deadlines like completing the required course or certification or collecting the bachelor’s degree or participating in career-related activities that meet your goal. 

Attainable: Make sure the goal you are setting is attainable. Many times people end up selecting goals that are very hard to achieve for example if you are working as a software engineer then you can set your goal to become an ENT specialist. It’s totally the opposite sector and requires a bachelor’s in the medical field. That’s why make sure you’re selecting a goal where the success and accomplishment rate is more than 50%.

Relevant: relevance is the key to success when it comes to career planning. No matter what type of career goal you are selecting?? where you want to land yourself after one or five years? the goal you select should genuinely matter. It should relate to your interest, skills, and priorities. You can start by thinking about how important the goal is (for the long term)and whether it’s meeting your priorities or not.  

Time-bounded: The goal you select for your career should offer you results and for that, you need to commit a specific timeframe to achieve it. A goal can be dragged for a lifetime but with a deadline, you can set the completion date. For example, you can break down your long term goal into four different short term goals and assign a deadline so that after completion of a short term goal you get closure toward your long term goal.

8. Do a Reality Check

While career planning most people select an option and look ahead to become the best in the industry. But what if your dreams are not particles? What if your high paycheck dreams go in vain? Before you get yourself involved in any career you need to do a reality check of that particular industry. 

Go out in the market and look at whether your selected career option is performing the same as you thought of. Many sectors and occupations are highly overrated but in reality, the backend shops tell a  different story. For example, in the training business, most people think that a trainer gets a good paycheck but in reality, due to less demand, the market is not as beautiful as it looks. 

There are a bunch of trainers out there and very few people looking to get training in that particular industry. People who choose their career as the trainer find themselves lost. But again it’s not that every trainer is struggling, some of them are doing good by offering unique content. So you need to understand the market before entering the industry. 

You need to identify what you can do to separate yourself and most importantly you need to prepare yourself to be exceptional. Some of the competitive markets don’t need average people, you need to make yourself best. If you have any issues with your eyes you will look for the best. There is nothing like compromising when it comes to eye and ear. 

Our career assessment platform makes your job easy by offering all the data that can help you to identify the reputation and performance of each occupation. Once you are aware of the competition and reputation then you can make plans to accomplish your career goal. 

9. Create an action plan 

Remember having an idea and taking action against it are two different things. Without action, all your ideation can be a delusion. If you have a career plan and know what you want to do is not enough. You need to have a plan that allows you to take action in the right way so that every idea can become practical. 

If you have a long term plan then you can break it into a short term plan so that you are able to complete each talk to achieve your goal. Completing a goal inspires you to encourage you to go ahead and do more. In the beginning, if you start with a long-term plan then most probably you will be neglecting it or avoiding it. 

Breaking into small parts and assigning a timeline to each task helps you to accomplish your career goal. You can also take down your plan in a sheet so that you are aware of your destination and your path becomes easier.  

Our career assessment platform allows you to create a detailed career plan. Using our platform you get an in-depth idea about how you can achieve your goal and how much time it will take to complete a particular course or degree to get into that particular field.  

10. Start Assigning Deadlines 

Once you are done with writing your action plan for your career, the only thing that will help you to get started is the deadline. Assigning a deadline for each of the tasks will make your action plan more effective. A deadline is considered as an assumed time within which people put their 100% effort to complete the task. 

That’s why we ask people to think twice before setting the deadline. If you keep on failing the deadline then it will become a habit that will discourage you from achieving your goal. Having a deadline helps you to achieve your goal faster. That means what seems to take 5-6 months may get completed with 2 or what seems to take a year may get done in 4 months. 

While creating your deadline make sure you have a buffer time so that if anything goes wrong you are able to cover it up. Try to keep your buffer time between 15% to 20%. That means if you are planning to complete a course in 90 days then add 20% (18 days more) so that you are about to complete your task on time. 

Once you start doing it then you will feel a sense of encouragement and success. You would prefer to spend more time learning new skills and doing other stuff after completing your work.  

Why is Career planning essential for High School students? 

High school is the best time to get started with your career planning. At every level in your high school, you are asked what you want to do when you grow up. Most of the high schoolers give their answer based on what they have seen and most of them are totally blank about what they want to achieve. 

During the high school phase, most of the students change their minds multiple times. Not only that but they are likely to change their mind even when they enter the workforce. Limiting yourself to one career is not a good choice because high school is the time when you can explore so many occupations, learn various things about different sectors, and many more. 

But during high school, every student should look into what they want to achieve in their career. During that phase of school, students are much more curious to learn so many things, and investigating different occupations and sectors encourages them to become more curious about their future goals. and most probably they will start learning new skills. 

1. Assess Yourself

Before a high school student gets into experiencing various career options they need to learn what they enjoy and what they are good at. If a student doesn’t know what they want to do then first they need to find an answer for what they want to learn about? Are they interested in “labs, or doing research, playing, and more? Once you successfully identify the answer then you can select the right career option.  

2. Identifying possible career options 

After you are aware of the activities and subjects linked by you, next you can look for various career options that relate to your skills and interests. For example, if you live science then you can learn about career options in engineering, agriculture, and more. Or if you like math then you can look for accounting, budget analysts, and many more. 

There are many options available when it comes to selecting an occupation in the sector. In the high school age we recommend not to find yourself bound by a particular goal; you have full liberty to explore various career options. But make the one you select should relate to your interest.

3. Research about your options 

Once you are aware of your career option or have a list of multiple options next comes the important part i.e researching the different options. You can always find help from teachers and elders so that you get an in-depth video about the selection option. Using our career assessment platform you get access to a wide range of information about different sectors, industries, and more in one place. 

4. Start getting experience 

Well, this may sound a bit weird but there are many high school students out there who are doing the internship and volunteering as part-time workers in the industry that relates to their career option. Getting an early exposure allows you to get an in-depth idea of the industry functioning and depending on the work you can decide whether the carrier option is right for you or not. Getting early experience allows you to get expertise in that particular field. 

Career planning tips for college students 

The need for career planning has become essential not only for high school students but also for colleges and university students. It’s very obvious that high school students have more options to explore but college students are nowhere left behind. 

Many colleges are putting full efforts in improving students’ careers. In recent years the gap has been reduced but not filled. Still, students find themselves which career path they are going to choose for their future. This mainly happens with those who landed in doing a specialization but are not sure white it’s the right fit for their career or not. 

In today’s competitive world every college student should be aware of what they want to do in their career. Having a career plan allows you to be more structured and work more effectively. Below we are going to list some of the important tips on how you can plan your career:  

1. Evaluate yourself

Career planning starts by evaluating yourselves. Even in interviews, HR asks why you feel you are the right fit for the company. If you are not aware of yourself, your skills, interests, and more then you will probably fail to answer the question. The same goes for career planning, if you wish to select the right career goal then you need to identify what you are best at, what are your interests, skills, and more. 

2. Search for a career option 

Once you are aware of your skills, next you can start searching for the best career option that meets your skills, interests, and most important priorities. You can look at various job portals, and career option guides to identify the best option for your future. Or you can take the help of our career assessment platform to identify the best option for your future. Using our platform you can learn more about different industries to understand the working culture and the competition. 

3. Start participating in career-related activities 

Once you are aware of your career goal next you can participate in career-related activities like taking an internship in a particular field or doing volunteering part-time work and more. today most employers prefer to hire an experienced person over a freshly graduated person just because college students show less importance toward participating in career-related activities. 

Many companies out there are offering these internships that allow you to explore more about the working culture and the skills required to sit at the top. Not only that but if you work is good then most probably from an intern you can become a permanent employee. So participating in career-related activities can offer you many benefits including in-depth knowledge about the industry functioning.

Conclusion: 

By now you might have good knowledge about why career planning is important for every individual? And how you can create an effective career plan for your future. Most of the individual spend less time in panning their career but in reality, career planning helps you to discover the best opportunities that can relate to your interests or desires. You can be productive and creative only when you land in a job that you like the most. Having an effective career plan helps you to land your dream job. 

Above we have listed all the tips and steps that can help you to create an effective career plan for your future. For further assistance related to career planning, you can always take help from our career assistance planning platform or contact our professionals.

Vati Careers

Author Vati Careers

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