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Career Planning Made Simple

Aug 17, 2007
Whosoever said that your professional career starts only after you graduate from college or is only partly right. If you don't include career planning as the fundamental stepping stone for your future, you will be doing yourself a disservice. Yes, your career can wait until you are out of college but planning can't. Whether you are a new grad or a professional seeking to switch gears, now is the right time to consider your options.

Starting Early

No matter how much professional experiences you acquire, developing a list of positive choices is always going to be difficult and no matter what. It is commonly accepted that proper planning must be perfected. This theory stems from the idea that thinking alot allows for refining and correcting before you put the plan into action. While you are still in the planning stages and possibly your current position, you have the advantage of having time on your side when you can correct the nuances without scathing your face.

Career Planner for New Grads and Seasoned Professionals

The career planner here is broad-based so that anyone wanting to make a specific career choice will be able to adopt this to their specific circumstances.

1. Listen to your mentors: Mentors are very important factors in your career development. Discuss with them what they think would be a good career move for you, based on their observations. They have probably experienced missed opportunities or observed someone failing, so they potentially know better than you do in this area.

2. Identify your area of interest: Throughout your career, you probably have had some ideas that you weren't able to implement due to circumstances. You can convert some of them if you play your cards right here. Identify those areas that interest you most and think seriously about them. Discuss the pros and cons of them with your mentor, a career coach and your significant other.

3. Know your strengths and weaknesses: Analyzing your strengths and weaknesses will tell you a lot about yourself and your suitability for a certain career. You will know where and what you are lacking, leaving room for you to developing the skills you need for a given profession. This is an opportunity for you to minimize your weaknesses by honing and polishing your strengths.

4. Set your goals: Have a reasonably broad spectrum of area of interests so that you can broaden your goals. The broader the goal, the greater your chances are of achieving it. Setting narrower goals demand larger task preparations and leaves you with stiffer competition.

5. Set up a time frame: Set up a timetable for acquiring/honing skills based on the realities of the market and your situation.

6. Go for it: This is the actual preparation stage when you need to get down to the specifics of needs of your chosen career. Work hard on them, including broadening your knowledge base. Strengthen your aptitudes in areas such as statistics. This helps you stand a better chance of moving up the career ladder, especially if you are considering a career in Six Sigma, which is a growing field requiring expertise in the use of statistical tools.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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