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How to Get Started on Career Planning

Developing a career plan is crucial for a successful career. Whether you are a student or a seasoned professional, having a plan helps provide insight and direction to the decisions you make when achieving your career dreams.

Employers are always on the lookout to attract, hire and retain employees that provide them the best value to their organisation. By actively planning your career milestones, you are preparing yourself for a promotion or move into your dream job.

The most effective way to make leaps in your career is to take things step-by-step. Here are 5 steps you can implement right away to get started on the right foot.

Update your resume

Resumes are a representation of you and your work experiences. Unfortunately, most students or working adults only update their resumes when actively looking for a new job.

Updating your online profile and resume helps recruiters to notice you. This ensures that you don’t miss out on better opportunities. Regardless of industry or career level, it is best to update your resume every 6 to 12 months.

Another great tip is to include keywords that are relevant to the job opening. Many companies today use software systems that scan through resumes to assess if it should be forwarded to and seen by hiring staff.

To bypass these tough gatekeepers, include specific experiences relevant to the role. You can find these keywords within the job descriptions. Clearly list down specific tools or technical terms used in your job to clearly state your competencies.

Assess your career qualifications

Carefully evaluate your career path to identify what are the skillsets you currently possess and what you need for professional growth. As a starting point, you can compare the job descriptions and qualifications potential employers are looking for against the experiences you have gained throughout your career.

Part of being in a successful career is also having the right transferable skills to carry yourself well at the workplace. Technical know-how can only take you so far. Remember, employees require wit (smarts) and grit (performance characters) to be able to achieve the best career outcomes for themselves.

Explore training opportunities

It is common practice for employers to add to or remove job responsibilities according to business needs. New products, new technology and new services provide unique employment opportunities that may not have existed five years ago. Hence, it is important to assess your current experiences and find out what are the skills gaps you have in order to keep up with market demands.

After identifying your areas of improvement, it is time to take action for your professional growth. Individuals can use free career tools or participate in workshops to help further enhance their career paths. Leveraging these tools and resources will help students and working professionals strengthen their skill sets and obtain career resilience.

Reflect on your values and career needs

Discovering what you want in a career and how your values play a part in that can change over time. For example, there will be aspects of your job that you will feel strongly about and bring about purpose to your career.

If you enjoy your career, you will be emotionally engaged in your work. But if that is not the case, then, you may want to find a new job or a new career path altogether. If you are a student, you may need to do some research on what your career aspirations are.

Take some time to reflect on what provides career fulfilment for you. Is it important for you to make an impact in the world or be financially independent?

Your likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses also helps give you a better idea of the kinds of jobs and companies that are the right fit for you. O*NET Online is a useful tool to find out what jobs match your interests.

Stay focused

While it is impossible to plan for everything, establishing SMART goals can help segment your career objectives into smaller goals.

This means staying focused to ensure your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. For example, I want to secure a promotion which can be achieved by applying leadership qualities in my current role. I plan to upskill my managerial skills through Workshop X, Y and Z within the coming year.

By actively planning your career, you are setting yourself up in the right direction of where, what and how your career milestone will be manifested.

Register your interest today!

Pursuing a career takes years to build and can be overwhelming.

Whether you are looking for your dream job, eyeing a promotion or thinking of changing your career, WITGRITFIT is the perfect partner to help guide both students and working professionals in your career journey.

Schools can request a demo of our Career Design Workshop here.

Working adults can sign-up for workshops here.

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