It’s one of the most important decisions of your life: your career.

Many start thinking about career choices as early as school. The advice of parents and teachers as well as your growth potential are some early influences that shape your career path planning.

Remember, a career doesn’t refer to any job you take up. It is a field of work where you choose to spend your professional life

A key requisite to a successful career is to set a clear goal. Many people say their goal is to be successful. Success, however, is unlikely to materialize if you don’t define it clearly.

How To Plan Your Career?

Career planning is an essential exercise. It helps you choose your professional goals and strategically create a path that will lead to those goals. Professionals in an organization usually look at two aspects of career pathing. One is their own career path, which caters to their individual aspirations. The other is the potential for growth within their organization.

Career path planning is a continuous journey that you need to review regularly.

The Career Planning Steps

Let’s look at the five crucial steps of career planning:

  1. Defining your career goals:

The choice of a career has to be preceded by self-analysis, zeroing in on the right choices, and creating a specific career path.

You must think about the following:

  • Your career expectations
  • Your hobbies and interests
  • Specializations that you want to focus on
  • The roles/designations that you want

Getting clarity on such questions is a crucial step in career path planning.

  1. Skill assessment and bridging the gap:

Sometimes your educational qualifications and professional skills may fall short of the requirements for a particular field. Similarly, if your previous experience is different from the field you wish to pursue, it can be a challenge.

For instance, you might be willing to take up a marketing role, but your qualifications as well as your past experiences are in the field of human resources or office management.

In this scenario you should focus on enhancing your current qualifications by getting yourself the requisite certifications and qualifications and work towards getting hands-on industry experience.

  1. Creating medium-term and long-term plans:

After you are ready with the necessary qualifications/certifications and have decided on a particular career path, the next step in career pathing is to create your five-year and ten-year plans.

Find out what kind of success people achieve in your particular field of work in five or ten years. Compare that with your own goals and career path. You can keep tallying your half-yearly or yearly performance with that vision and see whether you are moving in the right direction.

  1. Understanding yourself:

Self-awareness is a highly important quality to have. You must be able to identify your personality type and capabilities.

You should know if you are better at technical skills or creative pursuits. Ask yourself: Do you love to work independently or want to play a specific role in a team? Do you feel relaxed and happy when you can deliver your peak performance or does your happiness lie in having a comfortable job that pays reasonably?

  1. Staying in touch with your values and monetary goals:

In the pursuit of our career path, there are times when one tends to lose sight of personal values or is compelled to compromise on financial goals. While it might help you get through for the time being, this will not be sustainable.

For instance, you might be against furnishing inflated bills to clients, but your company owner or senior management might be in favor of this practice to boost revenue. In such a case, your values will clash with your work and you will eventually not be able to continue in the same role.

Hence, it is very important that your career path planning moves in sync with your values and earning goals.

Career planning is essential to professional success and is a process that requires deep thinking, analysis, and the ability to make well-informed choices.

Quite often, your efforts to create the right career path for yourself might lead to stress and confusion. You might get torn between the things that you are doing and the things you want to do. In such situations, you need to get expert guidance and tips that help you overcome the situation, and look at goals and challenges with clarity.

Harappa Education’s Leading Self course is designed to help you improve your performance and become the best possible version of yourself. The course includes a section on Internal and External Interferences, which are limiting beliefs that hold you back from reaching your true potential. Once you have identified your limiting beliefs you can take ownership of yourself and exude optimism at your workplace.

Explore topics such as What is Career DevelopmentCareer Planning, the Iceberg Model, the Importance of PlanningTaking Ownership at Work from our Harappa Diaries section and lead on a path of self-development.