What is Career Planning?
Career planning is a lifelong process, which includes choosing an occupation, getting a job, growing in our job, possibly changing careers, and eventually retiring. The Career Planning Site offers coverage of all these areas. This article will focus on career choice and the process one goes through in selecting an occupation. This may happen once in our lifetimes, but it is more likely to happen several times as we first define and then redefine ourselves and our goals.
Career Planning: A Four Step Process
The career planning process is comprised of four steps. One might seek the services of a career development professional[->0] to help facilitate his or her journey through this process. Whether or not you choose to work with a professional, or work through the process on your own is less important than the amount of thought and energy you put into choosing a career.
Gather information about yourself (self assessment[->1])
· Preferred Environments
· Developmental Needs
· Your realities
· Explore the occupations[->2] in which you are interested
· Research the industries[->3] in which you would like to work
... work can be done without following a clear set of rules” fit me to a T. Some of my career ... decided on working with numbers instead. On the Career Competencies, my strengths was following instructions, coping ... positive roles in a group. After completing the Work Culture Preferences, my results were supportive, well ... , and performance focused. I like to work in a fun environment with technology that can ...
· Research the Labor Market[->4]
Get more specific information after you narrow down your options by:
· Job Shadowing[->5]
· Part time work, internships[->6], or volunteer opportunities[->7]
During this phase of the process, you will:
· Identify possible occupations
· Evaluate these occupations
· Explore alternatives
· Choose both a short term and a long term option
You will develop the steps[->8] you need to take in order to reach your goal, for example:
· Investigating sources of additional training and education[->9], if needed
Developing a job search strategy
Writing your resume
Gathering company information
Composing cover letters
Preparing for job interviews
What Is a Self Assessment?
Self assessment is the process of gathering information about yourself in order to make an informed career decision. It is the first step of the Career Planning Process[->10]. A self assessment is often conducted with the help of a career development professional[->11].
Anatomy of a Self Assessment
What should a self assessment look at? A self assessment should include a look at your values[->12], interests, personality[->13], and skills. Here is an overview of the tools you can use to accomplish this.
Value inventories measure how important different values are to you. Examples of these values, which play an important role in one’s job satisfaction, include autonomy, prestige, security, interpersonal relations, helping others, flexible work schedule, outdoor work, leisure time, and high salary.
The questions in an interest inventory ask about your likes and dislikes regarding various activities. The premise of this self assessment tool is that people who share similar interests will also enjoy the same type of work. Examples of interests are reading, running, playing golf, and knitting.
A personality inventory looks at one’s individual traits, motivational drives, needs, and attitudes. The most frequently used personality inventory is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator(MBTI).
... to carry out which would make the assessment process more interesting and highlight any areas which need further ... without intervention by assessor. Limitations: There may be personality clashes resulting in subjective decisions need careful management ... careful planning. Journal/Diaries:- Strengths: Develop self-assessment skills. Relate theory to practice. Help assess language and literacy ...
In addition to determining what you’re good at, a skills assessment also helps you figure out what you enjoy doing. The skills you use in your career should combine both characteristics. You can use the results of the skills assessment to make some changes by acquiring the skills you need for a particular career.
Career Decisions: Self Assessment
Part 1: Values and Interests
The most common question I’m asked is this one: “I don’t know what I want to do. Is there a test or something that can tell me what career is right for me?” The answer is no. You can’t take a test that will, as if by magic, tell you what to do with the rest of your life. You can however use a combination of self assessment tools that will aid you in your decision. This article will demystify the self assessment phase of the career planning process. First I will tell you what self assessment is and then I will give you an overview of the various tools used to help you learn about yourself.
· Self assessment is the first step of the career planning process[->14]. During a self assessment you gather information about yourself in order to make an informed career decision. A self assessment should include a look at the following: values[->15], interests, personality[->16], and skills. Values: the things that are important to you, like achievement, status, and autonomy
· Interests: what you enjoy doing, i.e. playing golf, taking long walks, hanging out with friends
· Personality: a person’s individual traits, motivational drives, needs, and attitudes
· Skills: the activities you are good at, such as writing, computer programming, teaching
Many people choose to hire a career counselor[->17] who will administer a variety of self assessment inventories. What follows is a discussion of the different types of tools you may encounter, as well as some other things to consider when pursuing a career change.
... the objectives of both are very much identical. The two assessments are designed to help an individual identify issues that are ... The overall experience completing the LASSI student report was interesting one due to the difficulty associated with being completely honest ... the most helpful in targeting the weaknesses in my academic skills. My lowest two scores were in anxiety and time management ...
Your values are possibly the most important thing to consider when you’re choosing an occupation. If you don’t take your values into account when planning your career, there’s a good chance you’ll dislike your work and therefore not succeed in it. For example, someone who needs to have autonomy in his work would not be happy in a job where every action is decided by someone else.
There are two types of values: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic values are related to the work itself and what it contributes to society. Extrinsic values include external features, such as physical setting and earning potential. Value inventories will ask you to answer questions like the following:
· Is a high salary important to you?
· Is it important for your work to involve interacting with people?
· Is it important for your work to make a contribution to society?
· Is having a prestigious job important for you?
During a self assessment, a career counselor may administer one of the following value inventories: Minnesota Importance Questionnaire (MIQ), Survey of Interpersonal Values (SIV), or Temperament and Values Inventory (TVI).
If you want to get a feel for what you’ll be asked, take a look at the Work-Related Values Assessment[->18], which is a printable list of work related values, with a definition of each one.
Interest inventories are also frequently used in career planning. When you complete an interest inventory you are asked to answer a series of questions regarding your (surprise) interests. E.K. Strong, Jr. pioneered the development of interest inventories. He found, through data he gathered about people’s likes and dislikes of a variety of activities, objects, and types of persons, that people in the same career (and satisfied in that career) had similar interests. Dr. John Holland and others provided a system of matching interests with one or more of six types: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional. He then matched these types with occupations. The results of your interest inventory are compared against the results of this study to see where you fit in — are your interests similar to those of a police officer or to those of an accountant?
Case Study #2 1. Why is parts inventory management so important at Southwest Airlines? What business processes are affected by ... and technology factors were responsible for Southwest’s problems with inventory management? Southwest experienced non visibility with in their legacy ... misunderstanding because the information needed to get the correct inventory was not available. If an aircraft were to need ...
A very popular interest inventory is the Strong Interest Inventory (SII), formerly known as the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory. The SII is administered by a career development professional, who also scores it, and interprets the results.
If you want to try using an interest inventory on your own, a low cost option is the Self-Directed Search[->19] (SDS), by John Holland. You can take it online for a small fee. After completing the assessment, you will receive a printable report containing a list of occupations that most closely match your interests.
Career Decisions: Self Assessment
Part 2: Personality and Skills
Many personality inventories used in career planning are based on a theory by psychologist Carl Jung[->20]. Jung divided people into eight personality types — extroverts, introverts, thinking, feeling, sensing, intuitive, judging, and perceptive. Career counselors often use results from tests based on Jungian Personality Theory to help clients choose careers. Career counselors contend that those of a particular personality type are better suited to certain careers. An obvious example would be that an introvert would not do well in a career that requires public speaking. However, a personality inventory alone shouldn’t be used to predict whether you would succeed in a particular career. It should be used in conjunction with other inventories, such as those that look at interests and values.
Career development practitioners frequently administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator[->21] (MBTI) for the assessment of personality. It measures differences in traits between individuals. It looks at how one energizes (Extroversion vs. Introversion), perceives information (Sensing vs. iNtuition), makes decisions (Thinking vs. Feeling), and demonstrates his or her lifestyle (Judging vs. Perceiving).
When the test is scored, the individual is given a four letter code, i.e. ENFJ (Extroversion Intuitive Feeling Judging), indicating his or her preferences. Each preference is also assigned a number to show how strong that preference is.
... , interior decorator, and marine biologist on my career interest list, and no idea which one I should choose ... How wrong I was. Over the years my career interests have changed dramatically, everything from a marine ... sophomore year that I had an opportunity to work and study at Sparrow Hospital in the pediatric ... a Career A man named Thomas Carlyle once said, A Blessed is he who has found his work; ...
When deciding what field to enter, you need to determine what skills you have. You should look at what you’re good at, as well as what you enjoy doing. You may be very adept at a particular skill, but despise every second you spend using it. Generally speaking, though, you usually enjoy what you do well.
While you’re assessing your skills, you should also consider the time you are willing to spend on acquiring more advanced or new skills. A question you could ask yourself is this — if a career holds all the qualities I find appealing but it takes X years to prepare for it, would I be willing and able to make this time commitment?
Computer-Assisted Career Guidance Assessments
There are several computer programs that can help you with self assessment. Programs like SIGI 3[->22] (System of Interactive Guidance and Information) and Discover[->23] require users to answer a variety of questions about interests, skills, and values. Based on those answers, the software comes up with a list of career the user may be interested in. There’s a component that allows users to gather information about these careers. Computer-Assisted Career Guidance programs are often found in career centers at high schools or colleges. Some job and career centers at public libraries also make these programs available.
When going through the self assessment process it’s important to take into account other considerations that will influence your career choice. For example, you should consider your family responsibilities and your ability to pay for education or training. You also have to remember that self assessment is the first step in the career planning process, not the last. After completing this phase, you have to go on to the next one, which entails exploring the options[->24] you have before you. With your self assessment results in mind, you will have to next evaluate a variety of occupations to see if there’s a match[->25]. Just because your self assessment indicates that a particular occupation is suitable for someone with your interests, skills, and values, it doesn’t mean it is best for you. Similarly, just because your self assessment doesn’t indicate that a particular occupation is appropriate for you, it doesn’t mean you should discount it entirely. You just need to do some research to learn more about it.
... office clerks. Women and men traditionally have worked in different specific occupations within the professional occupational category, a pattern ... . Instead, women were more likely to work in lower paying professional occupations, such as teachers. Women have been ... U. S. Department of Labor lists the 20 leading occupations of employed women. Of these occupations which include teachers, nurses, ...
Identifying Your Work Values
What Are Work Values
Throughout your life you acquired a set of values — beliefs and ideas that are important to you. For example you may believe that one should always be honest or that one must always be a loyal friend. You live your life according to this set of values. In order to have a happy, successful and fulfilling life, you must act upon your values, both in your personal life and at work. Taking your values into account when you choose a career could be the most important factor that determines whether you will or won’t be satisfied with that aspect of your life.
Clarifying your work values, that subset of values that relate to your career, is essential. Your work values are both intrinsic, relating to the actual tasks involved in practicing a particular occupation, and extrinsic, relating to the by-products of an occupation. An intrinsic value might be helping others, while an example of an extrinsic value is earning a lot of money.
How to Identify Work Values
Career development professionals[->26], including career counselors and career development facilitators, use work value inventories to measure how important various work values are to you. Generally, a work value inventory is simply a list of values that you are asked to rate. For example, the instructions may tell you to rate each value on a scale of one to 10, giving a one to those values that are most important to you and a 10 to those that are least important. Alternatively, you may be asked to list a series of work values in order of importance.
The results of a work value inventory are used to identify appropriate career choices, by matching an individual’s work values with characteristics of occupations. A work value inventory is best used in conjunction with other self assessment instruments that help identify one’s personality, interests and skills.
Examples and Definitions of Work Values
Here are examples of items that could appear on a work value inventory, along with a definition of each one. When reading this list, think about how important each value is to you.
Autonomy: receiving no or little supervision
Helping Others: providing assistance to individuals or groups
Prestige: having high standing
Job Security: a high probability that one will remain employed
Collaboration: working with others
Helping Society: contributing to the betterment of the world
Recognition: receiving attention for your work
Compensation: receiving adequate pay
Achievement: doing work that yields results
Utilizing Your Skills and Background: using your education and work experience to do your job
Leadership: supervising/managing others
Creativity: using your own ideas
Variety: doing different activities
Challenge: performing tasks that are difficult
Leisure: having adequate time away from work
Recognition: receiving credit for achievements
Artistic Expression: expressing one’s artistic talents
Influence: having the ability to affect people’s opinions and ideas
Gathering information about careers is an important part of the career planning process and will help you discover whether a particular career is right for you. Learn about a wide variety of careers and their job duties, employment outlooks, salaries and educational and other requirements.
How to Explore Your Career Options
Career exploration is the second stage of the career planning process[->27]. You will begin to explore careers after completing the first stage of the career planning process, self assessment[->28]. During that stage you took inventory of your values, interests, personality and skills. You should have come away from the self assessment stage with a list of careers that are appropriate for you based on what you found out about yourself. Now it’s time to learn about the careers on your list so you can begin to make that list shorter. Your goal is to eventually narrow it down to the one career you want to pursue. Try not to eliminate any career from your list until you do, at least, a little bit of research about it. Even if you think you know about an occupation, you may be surprised by what you learn.
Start With the Basics
At first you will just want to gather some basic information about each career on your list. Let’s assume you have a list of ten occupations. You can do some preliminary research which will allow you to narrow down your list before you do more in depth research. When exploring careers you will need basic information such as job descriptions, employment statistics, job outlook, earnings and educational and training requirements. For basic information, use these resources:
· Career Briefs[->29]
Careers By Field
Additional Career Information Resources
After reading up on the careers on your list you will find that several of them don’t appeal to you. For example, you may decide that you wouldn’t enjoy the job duties of a particular career or that you can’t (or choose not to) meet its requirements. The earnings may be lower than you thought or its outlook doesn’t look promising. In the end, you will be left with a list with no more than about three careers on it.
After you narrow down your list of career choices your research will become more involved. You will want to learn what working in the field is really like, at least as much as you can without actually working in it. The best way to do this is to talk to people who do.
Utilize your network[->30] to compile a list of people who work in your field or fields of interest.
Set up informational interviews[->31] with them.
See if any of your contacts are willing to let you follow him or her around at work for a day.
After your in depth research, you should be able to determine which career is a good match for you. Try not to get frustrated if, at this point, you can’t make a decision. Continue to do more research until you can comfortably make a decision.
Quiz: Should I Choose This Occupation?
Is This the Right Career for Me?
You may have done a self assessment[->32] to discover what occupation to pursue. Or maybe someone (your parent, friend, or significant other) told you about a career option[->33] that would be “perfect” for you. While the first approach is more scientific than the second, it isn’t fool-proof. A self assessment will leave you with a list of possibilities. You still must do your homework[->34] to learn which one is the best choice for you. After you’ve gathered information on the occupations you are considering, take this quiz to find out which one is right for you.
[->0] – /library/weekly/aa111798.htm
[->1] – /cs/aboutassessment/a/assess_overview.htm
[->2] – /od/exploringoccupations/
[->3] – //www.vault.com/wps/portal/usa/industries
[->4] – //www.bls.gov
[->6] – /od/internships/
[->7] – //www.volunteermatch.org
[->8] – /od/careeractionplan/
[->9] – /od/continuinged/
[->10] – /cs/choosingacareer/a/cp_process.htm
[->11] – /od/careerchoicechan/a/career_couns.htm
[->12] – /od/selfassessment/a/work_values.htm
[->13] – od/selfassessment/a/personalitytype.htm
[->14] – /cs/choosingacareer/a/cp_process.htm
[->15] – /od/selfassessment/a/work_values.htm
[->16] – od/selfassessment/a/personalitytype.htm
[->17] – /od/careerchoicechan/a/career_couns.htm
[->19] – //www.self-directed-search.com/
[->20] – //psychology.about.com/od/profilesofmajorthinkers/p/jungprofile.htm
[->21] – //www.myersbriggs.org/
[->22] – //www.valparint.com/sigi3.htm
[->23] – //www.act.org/discover/
[->24] – /od/exploringoccupations/a/exploration.htm
[->25] – //careerplanning.about.com/od/exploringoccupations/a/occ_quiz.htm
[->26] – //careerplanning.about.com/od/careerchoicechan/a/career_couns.htm
[->27] – /cs/choosingacareer/a/cp_process.htm
[->28] – /cs/aboutassessment/a/assess_overview.htm
[->29] – /od/occupations/a/career_briefs.htm
[->30] – /od/networking/a/networking.htm
[->31] – /cs/occupations/a/info_interviews.htm
[->32] – /od/selfassessment/
[->33] – /od/occupations/
[->34] – /od/exploringoccupations/