Three steps for planning your careerSetting short- and long-term career goals can be very helpful in planning for the future. Following three simple steps can guide you to decisions that best match your career goals and also help you identify alternative career paths that provide flexibility.
1. Take a realistic look at your strengths, weaknesses, and interests.
o What can help you achieve your goals and what obstacles could get in your way?
o What types of work, school courses, and activities appeal to you?
o What interests you?
o What do you do well now, and what skills have you gained through experience?
o What are your values? What aspects of a job (e.g., money, respect, enjoyment, helping others, etc.) are most important to you?
2. Explore your options. It's hard to know what to do for a career when you don't even know all the possibilities. Here are just a few ways to find career information:
o Explore your career options using ACT's World-of-Work Map (see below).
o Spend time with people whose activities interest you.
o Job shadow, volunteer, or work in a job that you might like.
o Discuss your career and educational plans with your school counselor, parents, or other interested people.
3. Consider issues that can affect your plans and take actions to accomplish your goals.
o What do you need to study to be ready for the career you’re interested in?
o What are the foundational skills you will need?
o What schools offer the training you need?
o How will you pay for school?
o Do you need to search for a job?
o How will you balance your work and going to school?How will you manage family or relationship commitments?