Career and Education Planning

Are you looking for a direction to take as you begin or return to post-secondary education?  Are you wondering if you are on the right path?  Are you thinking about changing your direction?

You are not alone!

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The four career planning steps

can be useful for making career-related decisions and at all stages of your career, whether you are choosing a new career direction, going back to school or planning your retirement.

Career Planning Step 1: Know Yourself

Identifying your vision, values, interests, skills, traits and abilities will help you decide what you want from your next career move:

  • If you're choosing a new career direction, which of your core values do you want it to reflect?

  • If you're looking for new challenges at work, which of your skills or interests could help you develop and advance? 

  • If you're considering going back to school, which type of program would make the most of your positive traits?

Career Planning Step 2: Explore Options

Explore your options, discover new ones and gather information about them. What choices do you have? What does each alternative involve?

  • If you're choosing a career direction, find out about the occupations that interest you and then talk to people in those fields. Can you get direct experience by volunteering, working part-time or job shadowing? Look for related possibilities while you explore the ones you have already identified.

  • If you're considering going back to school, talk to people in the occupations that interest you. Ask them how they acquired the skills and knowledge they need and which training options are most respected by employers.

Career Planning Step 3:  Get Ready

Evaluate your options and decide which ones are the best for you at this stage of your life. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative? Consider the challenges you may face and how you can handle them.  

Career Planning Step 4:  Take Action

Develop a plan to make your option a reality. Identify the short-term and long-term steps you need to take and tie them to specific dates. Identify things you can do to stay motivated. Then, take the steps!

The career planning process is a practical way to manage ongoing changes in your life and work. Building on what you already have and thinking realistically about your priorities, you can continue to use the four career planning steps to create a satisfying career path. 

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