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Career Planning Article

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Career Planning and Development: Managing Your Future

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Career planning and development begins well before you graduate from high school. In a sense it began in elementary school when you learned such basic skills as reading, writing and basic grammar. In high school, however, you are much more developed as an individual than you were as a child. By the time you reach your mid-teens you have developed values and interests. You have likes and dislikes, as well as personality traits. You have some idea of the sort of work you would like to do. This is where the more specialized stage of career planning and development begins.

You are most likely going to spend most of your adult years engaged in some sort of work. Of course, it is important to earn the money you need to live. But it is also important that you do the kind of work you like to do and have an aptitude for. That is why career planning and development is so vital. It begins when you are in high school and you choose courses of study that are going to be useful to you in the future. This is also a time in which you can “try things on”; that is, do courses in different subjects to see if you like them. You also have the opportunity to consult with counselors who can explain what is involved in various types of work and what you have to do to prepare yourself for a career in a particular field.

Quite likely you have had some sort of part time job. That is important to your career planning and development. The work you did, or are doing, at your after school, part time job might not be the sort of work you want to do for the rest of your life, but it can be very important to your future career. Your part time job gives you work experience and teaches you such things as punctuality. It gives you the opportunity to demonstrate that you are willing and able to learn new skills. At some point you will be asking your employer for a letter of recommendation. You would like that letter to say that you are a reliable, trustworthy employee who works well with fellow workers.

Career planning and development means knowing about yourself. What strengths and abilities do you have? Can you improve your skills? Do you present yourself well? A personnel manager is going to decide whether or not to hire you based on what is in your resume, and how well you promote yourself in an interview.

You must also become familiar with the labor market. Career planning and development gives you a system to help you find a job. There is more to it than looking in the want ads. Career planning and development shows you how to explore the “hidden” job market. It also directs you to training programs that will make you eligible for even higher positions in your chosen field.


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