What is a career action plan? It is a way to stay focused on both short-term (one to two years out) and long-term (two years or more) career goals. An action plan helps keep you on track and moving forward as you make progress in understanding, exploring, and attaining a career that is a great fit. There are a few preliminary steps to consider.
How well do you know yourself?
This is the beginning step for everyone regardless of where you are in your academic program. Reflect on how well you know yourself in four critical areas: your skills (both what you are good at and what you enjoy doing), your interests, your values (what motivates you), and your personality strengths and weaknesses. Learn more about self-discovery.
How informed are you about your career options?
Have you done research on which career industries, fields, or positions you would like to pursue? Which career options hold your interest? Initially, be as open as possible. This step will help with exploring and then narrowing down which careers you might want to go after. Learn more about how you can explore career options.
How internship or job ready are you?
Once you have considered the above steps, start to focus in on your internship or job search. Prioritize your top three choices and identify potential internships or jobs to apply for. Remember to match your background to the position on your resume and cover letter; each employer will want to know why you are the best candidate for the position. Learn more about building the skills you need.
Are you prepared for your interview?
Once you have landed an interview, you’ll need to prepare yourself for what happens next. Each step you have taken along the way will benefit you in presenting yourself to the very best of your ability. Employers will want to know why you are interested in their field, organization, and position. What makes you a great fit for their particular environment and mission? Learn more about putting all of the pieces together for your post-graduation plans.
Developing a career action plan will help you to set realistic, concrete goals, and you will see your progress as you write them down and check them off. Plus, you will be able to identify any barriers in moving forward and brainstorm how to work around them.
Our office can help you in myriad ways as you develop your own unique career action plan. If you are just getting started, come in and meet with a career counselor by scheduling an appointment through Handshake or attend one of our Career Directions workshops (check calendar) to launch your career success!