“What is career planning? Simply put, it is looking ahead in your life and determining what you want to do as a means of earning a living. But the question really is more complex than that, because it involves the choice not just of a job, but of a life path. The work a person does to earn a living has more than just financial results. It also affects a person emotionally, psychologically and physically. It is therefore vitally important that the question be given serious consideration. That is especially true when we consider that many of the career opportunities that exist today were undreamed of a few years ago, and new opportunities are opening up all the time.
When you ask “What is career planning?”, you must be prepared to acquaint yourself with the vocabulary of careers. The words employment, position, job, occupation and career may, at first glance, all seem to mean the same thing. In fact, there are subtle differences. A grocery store cashier and a grocery store manager both have employment, but the manager would be more likely to consider his work a position. With career planning, it is also important that you become familiar with these terms: career development, career management, career counseling and career guidance. Each of these is a step in a systematic approach designed to ensure that you will find the career that is best for you. They also help you to advance through that career in a way that is fulfilling to you.
When you ask, “What is career planning?”, you must be ready to asses your own planning skills. You must identify short term goals and long term objectives. You must make decisions based on solid information, and you must measure your own resilience, adaptability and flexibility. These are going to be factors when it comes to confronting challenges.
In this process you will evaluate your own personal management abilities. This will involve interpersonal skills, lifestyle decisions, role integration, job-survival skills and work-leisure integration. When you ask yourself, “What is career planning?”, you also look at your personal marketing skills. You identify your skills and strengths. You learn how to conduct an effective job search. You learn the best way to sell yourself and to make yourself more marketable. You become aware of what kinds of opportunities are available in your community, or where you have to go to find what you want. You learn to investigate market trends. You find out about training opportunities.
In all likelihood you are going to have several jobs or positions during your working years. When you can satisfactorily answer “What is career planning?”, you will have a much better chance of making each career change a move forward.”