What is Career Planning?


Career planning is one of the most critical steps you should take to determine your career success. Planning is fundamental for any success. This process will allow you to identify your strengths, passion, and goals to help you maximise any career opportunities you have. This will be key in your career development process.


What is career planning?

Career planning is identifying what you’re good at, understand what your skills, talent, values and interests are in order to match them with possible career paths to take, what your career goals are, how do we select the right career for you, planning and embarking on that job search process. It is outlining your goals and re-evaluating them as you progress in your career planning to ensure you’re enroute to the career you want in achieving your goals.


What are the steps within career planning?

1. Self-exploration

Self-exploration is the first step we should take in career planning. Learn about your own strengths, personality, skills and talent in order to make an informed decision about your career development.

This can be determined via a series of tests – for instance personality evaluation such as the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator which is an introspective self-report questionnaire indicating different psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. This will attempt to assign four categories – introversion or extroversion; sensing or intuition; thinking or feeling; judging or perceiving. One letter from each category is taken to produce a four-letter test result which will allow you to understand your personality type and what type of occupations may suit you better.

Other areas of self-exploration include evaluating the skills, education and experience you have and what types of careers are they more suited towards, and perhaps if any career development is needed. Lastly, to take a look at your values and interests. You can ask yourself questions like how do you want to contribute to society with the career you’re in, what types of salary levels do you desire, what type of activities do you like doing – do they involve people or things.

You can ask yourself the following questions if you are currently already working to get a better understanding of your interests:

Why are you thinking of leaving your current job?

When you feel like it’s time to move on from your current job, it can be easy to focus on the negatives. But this is a great time to re-assess and think about what you’ve enjoyed in your current role, and what you would like to do moving forward.


What’s most important to you in a job?

Everyone is motivated by a combination of different things but now is a great time to set your priorities. It can be your salary package, career progression, career development opportunities, good training and more. It’s important to know what are some of the biggest factors for you before you begin your job search.


What benefits are most important to you?

Most organisations nowadays offer some form of benefits package, and for many this can be a determining factor. For example, some may require flexible working while others prefer the lure of a generous bonus or a company car. But consider what’s right for yourself and your needs at this point in your career. And remember to weigh out what you need to have and what you can do without.


2. Occupational exploration

After your self-exploration, you will be able to use that information to research for the different occupational and job profiles that may be suited to your findings. It’ll also be a good opportunity for you to attend career fairs to understand what is in the market and the responsibilities required for the jobs you’re interested in.

Start by looking at the different types of careers you may be interested in, then gather basic information about each of those career option. Continue to narrow that search by understanding how it’s like to work in that job. You may also want to gather more information about those roles through platforms that offer employee reviews.

An important question to ask yourself – what kind of company do you want to work for? Maybe you’ve worked at a start-up and may be looking to join a large conglomerate, or vice versa. Or even looking to move to a company with a similar set-up as you are now. Whichever the choice, it can all come down to a personal preference but can help you to filter down your options you should be looking at. Remember – you want to move out of your current job for a reason whether that’s a personal or professional reason. Think of your job satisfaction too.


3. Start your career planning and take action

After exploring the different jobs you may be interested in which suit your profile, it’ll be good to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which part of this job matches my current job and skills?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different jobs?
  • Are your skills up to date? (Things in the industry can advance at an alarming rate. With so much changing every day, it’s easy to get left behind. It’s good to re-assess your skills to find out which areas you need to brush up on. Updating your skills can only make you more employable.)
  • What actions and steps do I need to take if I want to achieve my career goals? (eg. Training, leadership development, etc.)
  • Where can I find the right support? (eg. Expanding your professional network to include the right people and mentors who can empower you)
  • Start applying for the roles you’re interested in and get as much interview experience as you can

Career planning is part of your career development process which should be done every few years so that you can identify the gaps between your skills and what is needed to help you progress towards your career goals. Your goal could shift every few years depending on what stage of life you may be at, so it’s absolutely fine to re-evaluate your career development process.

Before you go for your interview, we highly recommend reading our article on “17 questions to ask in an interview”, “How to prepare for a job interview” as well as “5 tips to create an effective LinkedIn profile”. Feel free to look at all the rest of the resources we may have to help you in the next step of your career planning. If you have are actively looking out for a role now, feel free to take a look at our job search page or fill up the form below and a consultant from Progressive Recruitment will be in touch shortly.


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