Preparation can directly relate to success. As a budding young talent on the verge of becoming a professional, you may feel excited about what’s next (if not a little nervous) and that your options are vast, the future lies before you and the sky’s the limit.
There’s something to be said about the abundance of choice. It can cause you to lose focus (particularly if you don’t have a plan).
Career planning. Think of it as a crucial part of your professional wellbeing. Whether you’re young or old, privileged or poverty-stricken, a plan can help clear your mind and set you up to face the future.
In fact, early career planning can even increase the possibility that you’ll sign up for the right academic courses as you head into higher education.
This, in turn, can lead to seamless integration between what you learned in school and how you apply it in the field.
Here are a few reasons why.
You can start to assess yourself
As one of the initial steps of creating a career plan, embark on a thorough investigation into your internal ideologies, values and thought processes. If you want to choose the right career (let alone the right college course) you should learn about yourself. This can be harder than it sounds. You might find that a fair portion of young people aren’t sure about what they want. You can chalk it up to a lack of experience and this means that self-assessment sessions can be more necessary than ever. Sometimes, this might be all it takes to help you find the course at college that suits you the most.
You can start to think about the skills
What soft skills have you currently mastered? What interests, values, weaknesses and strengths do you possess? By using self-assessment tools or career tests, you can establish traits that you own, which means you can get an even clearer picture of the long-term game and how you want to set out and achieve it. To do this, think about the next phase of your educational journey. Are you good at crunching numbers? Maybe accounting could be a stable path (but be sure to pay attention to a disruptive technology that may be hitting the accounting industry). Maybe you’re more artistically inclined and if that’s the case, maybe graphic design might be your thing.
You can begin creating timeframes
We are time-bound and whether you like it or not, career planning can train you to function within the constraints of the clock, setting deadlines for each goal which can motivate you and fuel your determination as you push forward. As you set exact dates, and frame your goals within the context of reality, timeframes can also help you understand which college course would suit you better. After all, not all courses last the same amount of time (a medical degree takes a lot more time than a business major for instance), which means that you should decide for yourself how much time you’re willing to invest and allocate on behalf of your education.
You can set aside leeway to explore
You may find job opportunities plentiful if you know where to look but, if you haven’t even started yet, it can be really difficult to gauge which job is suitable and which one isn’t. This can all be sorted out with a little exploring. List down all the possible occupations that you might be interested to venture into. From there, figure out which educational route should be taken to help increase the possibility of someday nailing that optimum career path.
It can bring you down to Earth
Done right, career plans can function as conceptual filters that take your greatest dreams and visions and hold them up against the harsh glare of reality. This can help you set goals and milestones that are based on how the real world works. Leave no room for romantic depictions of how you think the industry of your dreams functions and instead, create factual, logical and achievable milestones. This can be a far better approach with regards to finding a job and a choice of college/college course.
It can help you keep track of things
Don’t think of career plans as one-stop-solutions. They can potentially fluctuate and adjust according to developments and trends that come and go and, because of this, you may have to check back on your career plan from time to time. This can be a good thing because it means possibly keeping a better focus on long-term goals. Once you’ve found the college or university of your choice, it might be easy to get distracted and a career plan can help you track your progress, stay on the ball and take initiatives to alter certain elements, making you feel like you’re studying for something bigger later on, instead of just winging it.
Life can sometimes become one big blurry mess, especially if you aren’t even sure about which educational institute best suits you. Use your career plan to guide you along as you streamline your educational and occupational objectives and get more focused on a wonderful, dynamic career ahead.