“Planning a career is, in many ways, choosing one of life’s most important paths. Deciding how you want to earn a living can certainly require careful planning. Career choices are many, but what you must keep in mind is that how you earn your living does not affect you only in a financial way. The work you do also affects you in psychological, physical and emotional ways. Therefore it is important that you give serious thought to your planning. Career choices are available today that didn’t even exist a few years ago, and new opportunities are opening up almost every day.
When you are planning a career it is important that you have a good understanding of the vocabulary of careers. There can be subtle differences between words that, at first sight, seem to mean the same thing. Consider these words: career, position, employment, job, occupation. They are not necessarily synonymous, though they appear to be so. A medical doctor and a paramedic both have employment, but the doctor would be much more likely to consider his or her work a position.
If you are planning a career it is also important that you familiarize yourself with the following terms: career development, career management, career guidance, career counseling. What do these have to do with your planning? Career building requires structure. Each of these is a step in a systematic plan that is designed to help you find the career that is the best one for you. They will also help you progress through that career in a way that is most satisfactory to you. When planning a career, you identify short term objectives and long term goals. You make decisions based on facts, and learn to understand your own adaptability, resilience and flexibility. You are going to meet challenges, and these things will determine how well you respond to challenge. You will evaluate your own personal management capabilities.
What kind of lifestyle decisions will you make? What are your job-survival skills and interpersonal skills? How are you at role integration and work-leisure integration? When you are planning a career, you must identify your strengths and skills. Can you conduct an effective job search? There is more to this than looking in the newspaper want ads. What is the image of yourself that you project? How are you at selling yourself? What can you do to make yourself more marketable?
You have to be aware of what kinds of opportunities are available in your own community, or where you have to go to find what you want. Labor market trends often change, so you have to keep your information lines open. Find out about opportunities for training. Most likely you will have several jobs or positions during your years in the work force. With good planning, career changes you make will be positive ones that will make you an increasingly marketable individual.”