The ultimate goal after finishing a degree is getting a job that will utilize the specialized skills and knowledge you have learned through your years in the academe. Not only because the job will help you survive, but more importantly because you want to pursue what you are truly passionate about.
However, you must remember that as you immerse yourself in the corporate world, you will eventually find something that will lead you astray from the original path you have chosen. And that is acceptable; you can change your mind if you think changing your mind will do you more good than sticking to a job that does not interest you anymore. With uncertainty at bay, you need to constantly reevaluate what you are truly passionate about in order to be genuinely sure you gain satisfaction with what you are about to do.
Immediately after you graduate, it is always better to give yourself a chance to breathe. This is the best time for you to experience things beyond what has been taught in the classroom. This will also be the perfect time to get yourself involved with activities you have interest in. This way you can self-reflect what you actually want to do before joining the working force. Once you actually know yourself and your passion, only then will you be able to find the perfect career for you.
A career action plan is a document that you can customize to fit your ideals. The document can be sued to establish the goals you wish to achieve in your career. It is basically a road map that will lead you from choosing an occupation to getting a job and strengthening your career. Simply put, the career action plan contains your ideal career and the necessary steps you need to take in order to reach it. The plan will serve as your guide as you journey into reaching your main career goal/s.
With that in mind, a career action plan can either be made as you begin your journey into your career or as you near your retirement. Either way, it will guide you as you make new career changes. The plan will let you make clear priorities for your career. In addition, the plan will also let you establish a vision of where you want to be on a certain point of your career/life. Your career action plan will allow you to assess your strengths and weaknesses so that you can build around them. It will make it easier for you to make a decision for your next step if have a strong basis.
Moreover, a career action plan will also allow you to reevaluate job promotion opportunities should it present itself. And since the plan is only for personal use, it can be personalized; meaning there is no right or wrong way to make it. Furthermore, it has enough flexibility to allow you to adjust your goals and timelines, as you see fit. With that, a career action plan is an effective document that will let you assess your current abilities that can help you pinpoint where you can proceed with your career and how should you get there.
Your career action plan is somewhat tasked to assess your ability to manage your career/s from beginning to end. Since the plan is intended to guide you to figure out what you should do with your career and how to effectively do it, it should contain all the information you will need as basis. With that, here are some of the contents that should be included in a career action plan:
Now that you know the significance of a career action plan, you should start thinking where you should begin your planning process. It is important to have a clear understanding on what you need to do in order to make an effective career action plan. Thus, here is an account of the career action planning process you can follow:
Your planning processes should definitely start with examining your current situation. You should assess where you currently are in relation to your career goals. This will allow you to objectively examine where you should start your process of improving or advancing your career. This will also allow you to consider if work matches your aspirations, needs, and lifestyle. During this step you should take your time to decide whether you are satisfied with where you are currently at in your career or whether something needs to change.
Although you already have a clear idea on the career that you want to pursue or you have clear understanding to your current career, it is always interesting and refreshing to explore other possibilities. This is most prevalent when you are really not happy with your current position. With these thoughts of checking or trying out other opportunities, you will be able to create a realistic vision for your future. The information or thoughts you have about the career that you want to do will be your starting point for your vision. It can help you decide on what you genuinely want to do for the rest of your life.
This is the part where you decide what strategy or approach you will use in order to achieve your career goals. It is very helpful if you identify specific tasks that will let you achieve your goals, this way you can also stay focused and committed to your career goals. The broad goals you haves set will serve as an overview of what you intend to do, but breaking them down to realistic and practical step-by-step tasks will help you reach your end goal. With that in mind, setting SMART goals will help you stay on the right track.
SMART goals are basically clear objectives written in a simple and concise manner. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timed (SMART) goals that you want to achieve throughout your plan. It basically lets you highlight what you need to do and specifying a clear outcome withing a time frame. In order to set SMART goals you need to:
This part is when you should start to implement your plan. However, although you have a clear picture of what you should do and a plan on how to do it, it can still be challenging to complete. You can even get sidetracked although you have a clear outline and time frame. But you should not be easily discouraged, there are some things you can do to help you stay on track.
You have come a long way in order to reach your goals, although you may be preoccupied with the tasks that you still need to complete, do not forget to review and realign your focus. Reviewing your progress will also allow you to reflect back to why you started the journey, reminding you to continue on.
We hope that this article has helped you learn important information about a career action plan and the corresponding career action plan process.