Choosing a career is an exciting time in life.
As you work to narrow down potential options, it can feel as if the opportunities are endless when it comes to choosing the best fit for you. It can be hard to know exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life when you are a young adult.
Many professionals will tell you that they started out dreaming of one career and years later ended up going in a totally different direction.
So how do you plan for a new career whether you are just starting out or looking for something new?
Well, one of the most important steps is taking time to do your research about both yourself as an individual as well as the jobs that are available in the fields that you are considering.
Being honest with yourself about your interests as well as your strengths can help in the planning process, as well as working with professionals to help lead you in the right direction.
Career Planning Tip #1: Shadow Other Professionals
The best way to learn about the ins and outs of a career is to actually be in the job setting.
Many careers allow you to complete an internship or shadow a professional to have the opportunity to truly learn the ins and outs of the career you are hoping to pursue.
If you have the chance to work in your potential future career setting, make sure to not only make detailed observations, but ask those with experience what they truly think of the career after years of work.
If the opportunity presents itself, take advantage of actually participating in the day to day responsibilities of the job to truly get a sense of what the job would be like for you.
Reflection and feedback from others in the internship setting can be a big help when searching for your new career.
Career Planning Tip #2: Work with an Executive Resume Writer
After taking the time to find your new dream career, the next step is finding the just right job by getting your resume noticed.
Job searching can be an in-depth and tiring process at times, so just remember to be patient and persistent when starting this step of career planning.
In order to get your foot in the door, you have to find a way to set yourself apart from the other candidates. Job searching can be extremely competitive.
Working with an executive resume writer can help prepare you for any potential opportunities or interviews you may have.
A professional resume writer will not only help you format your resume, but also help you make detailed edits and changes to help set yours apart from the rest.
A resume writer will also have seen what works best for explaining your skills and experience in a professional and unique way.
Career Planning Tip #3: Use Your Strengths
Every individual has their own unique skill set that can help make them a good fit for a job. Personality traits such as being detail oriented or a people person can be used as advantages when looking for specific careers.
As you analyze and plan which career may be the best fit for you, think about both your strengths and weaknesses as well as your interests.
If you are looking to move up in your current field, ask for feedback from colleagues and employers about things you have been successful at in the past.
Writing out a list of past experiences and events you have participated in can help jog your memory of things that have gone well over the years.
Many skills are transferable between careers and you can use that to your advantage when interviewing and applying for new positions.
Career Planning Tip #4: Continue Your Training and Education
When applying for jobs, one of the things that can help set you apart from the rest are both your degrees as well as any trainings and professional development workshops you have attended.
Not every career requires certifications or degrees, but many do and it can be helpful to know the requirements as you are making your career plans.
Knowing the educational requirements may also help narrow down your choices depending on how much more educational opportunities you plan to pursue.
Employers are always impressed when their employees have a desire to continue learning.
This can show a future employer that you are looking to further yourself in your current career, ask those that are in higher level positions what trainings they would advise for you to attend.
Career Planning Tip #5: Collaborate and Network
Every career out there involves working with people, whether it is a boss or colleagues. While in your current role, focus on improving your current network of connections.
It can also be helpful to collaborate with others on projects to improve both your interpersonal skills as well as connect with others to discuss potential future employment opportunities.
If you are just starting out in the job industry, even using family and friend connections can be helpful to get a foot in the door for an internship or potential interview.
Those that have more experience in a certain field know that they had to start at the beginning also and are usually more than willing to help someone begin their career too.
Career planning can truly be done at any stage of life, whether you are just starting out or have been in your current job for twenty years.
Taking time to research as well as reflect can help ensure that you are being intentional about your next steps for your career.
Once you are ready to take the leap, working with a professional such as an executive resume writer will bring many benefits including potential future interview options.
Remember that the process takes time and planning is your best option to ensure that you end up in the right job for your interests and skills.