In this exclusive article we explain why it is useful to think about your career today. We also outline 5 simple steps to help you to achieve your career goals.
Why do you need to think about your career?
A career is an occupation undertaken for a significant period of your life. It is therefore worth putting some thought into how you will spend this significant period of your life. Imagine that your career is a destination in a far away land. If you set sail for this destination knowing where you are going you can plan your journey to ensure that you (a) reach your destination and (b) reach your destination in the shortest time possible. If you set sail not knowing where you are going you might still reach your destination or you might not. Thinking about your career today is the best way to help you achieve your career goals and ambitions. As Malcolm X once said, “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
Step 1. Choosing a career
In order to choose a destination for your career start by thinking about your interests and skills. Write down these initial thoughts and feelings so that you can explore them in the next step. You should also consider discussing different career options with your friends, family and teachers but remember – this is your life and your career.
Step 2. Conducting research
In this step it is necessary to conduct some research in to your chosen career(s) – after all, you do not want to set sail for a far away destination only to find out when you get there that it is not what you expected! You can find information on different careers in lots of different ways including through:
- Career guides
- Exploring FREE courses
- Attending talks and careers events
- Reviewing job advertisements on www.gozambiajobs.com
- Checking out company websites
- Identifying employment and industry trends
- Talking to friends, relatives and business acquaintances
This research you should help you to understand whether you are still interested in these careers AND what the requirements are for these roles in terms of academic achievements and experience.
Note: Try not to rely on just one source of information. Instead explore as many options as possible in order to find out as much information as possible.
Step 3. Closing the gaps
In Step 2 above, you will should have identified the various skills, qualifications and experience required to reach your career destination. It is more than likely that you not yet meet all of these requirements. You will therefore need to think about how you can close the gaps in your skills, qualifications and experience. This may include thinking about courses that you may need to take and the experience you might need to gain. You can find out more about deciding on what courses to take in our article: How to choose a course
Step 4. Creating a plan
A career plan is the map to your career. It provides directions to your career journey and helps you to keep on track and avoid getting lost. Career plans can provide general direction or more detailed directions depending on your preference.
An example of a simple career plan could be as follows:
- Grade 12
- Junior position
- Professional qualification
- Senior position
- Career Goal
Once you have a simple career plan in place you add more detail to your plan. This will include the steps that you will need to take to reach your career goal. Breaking down your career goal into small manageable steps can help provide focus and make complex career goals more achievable.
Step 5. Review
In this article we have explained that a career is an occupation undertaken for a significant period of your life. We also explained that your career is like a journey with a start point and an end destination with lots of bit in between. Before embarking on your journey spend some time reviewing steps 1 to 4 and thinking about the direction you would like to travel. A little extra thought now could save you time and money further along on your journey.
To find more free careers advice in Zambia just visit: Careers Advice
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To search for the latest jobs in Zambia visit: www.gozambiajobs.com