Planning your Future Career & Education
Frank J. Minor, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Emeritus, Saint Anselm College, NH
This TUTORIAL discusses the importance of career and education planning in your college years and explains how to explore career fields and make career decisions. The TUTORIAL also introduces you to the FOCUS 2, Online Career and Education Planning System. FOCUS 2 will help you explore career paths based on your interests, your personality, your talents and your values and help you to plan the education/training you will need to attain your career aspirations. AFTER READING THIS HANDOUT, VISIT:
http://www.ncwc.edu/student-affairs/icsc/students/career-exploration TO BEGIN USING THE FOCUS SYSTEM! Access Code: bishops
Why Career Planning is Necessary
In today's rapidly changing world, new career paths are constantly unfolding, traditional ones are being changed and shifts are taking place in occupation skills and educational requirements. These changes are a result of new technology, changes in organizational design and the trend towards global business operations. With all these changes, you might ask "What is the point of planning ahead by developing a career plan?" The point is to develop a set of career goals, strategy and options based on your interests, personality, values and skills. Once you have a plan, you will be equipped to self-manage your career and take advantage of changes in the economy and job market rather than becoming a victim of change. Who is Responsible for Your Career?
Your career is totally your responsibility. It is up to you to do the planning and take the necessary actions to obtain the education and training that will support your career plans. However, you can get help. For example, your career advisor or counselor can advise you about ♦ your career planning strategy
♦ how to find information you need
♦ how to get around obstacles
♦ how to go about planning your current and long term education and training Keep in mind, throughout your life, you are the one who must make all the decisions about your career and you must produce the results that support your goals. It’s up to you to control and navigate your own destiny.
The Importance of Self-Assessment
Understanding yourself is a critical aspect of career and educational exploration and planning. The more you know about your career related interests, values, skills, personality type and preferences, the better equipped you will be to identify the career fields, major areas of study and training programs, and education pathways that are compatible with your personal attributes. The FOCUS 2 system will help you develop an accurate self-assessment of your personal qualities: Your Work Interests are a reflection of the kinds of work related activities and tasks you most enjoy doing.
Your Values are a description of what is most important to you in your life. For example, you might value earning a lot of money, helping other people, being creative and artistic, having a secure and steady job, etc.
Your Skills are a reflection of your talents and the types of things you easily learn and perform well.
Your Personality Type is a description of how you react to certain situations and people, how you make decisions, how you organize information and go about solving problems. Your Leisure Time Interests are a reflection of the kinds of leisure related activities you most enjoy doing.
The Big Picture: Your Life Plan
It is a good idea to plan your career based on the big picture, that is, your life plan. You must ask yourself, what kind of life do you want to lead? As you can imagine, your career decisions will dramatically impact your lifestyle. Your occupation will determine where you live, your income, your work hours, your travels, job security, your choice of work associates and friends, and how you spend your leisure time.
Questions you need to ask yourself about your life plan are: What...
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