The career development it is a process, not a one-time bet. Career planning doesn’t just mean training or looking for a job; they are part of a well thought out plan, although flexible and regularly updated. Is it necessary to define the career plan in a changing context? How are professional goals reoriented? In this Monographic on Guidance and Development of the Professional Career we have looked for experts to answer these questions.
The importance of having goals
Career planning is a strategy that gives us a direction to follow to achieve professional goals. This strategy begins with the definition of some objectives, which are based on our interests and personal and work skills.
In the current context, it may seem that setting career goals is a waste of time, as the situation can make it difficult to achieve them. Nothing could be further from the truth. Experts agree that the planning must be kept, although adding the flexibility as outstanding competition. Alejandro Tarín, Spain Marketing Assistant at CRCC Asia, considers that currently, at a time when Uncertainty plays a more important role than it should, you cannot leave “loose ends” or chance, but you have to have clear and concise objectives and an appropriate action plan to achieve them.
To draw up the career plan it is essential to be clear about what you want to achieve. The key to defining goals is to reflect on yourself (what do I know how to do, what do I like, what do I lack …) and take these aspects into account:
- The objectives should be realistic. Setting unattainable goals will only generate frustration. The best way to achieve an unattainable dream is to “break it down” into small achievable goals.
- The objectives should be quantifiable and with limits of weather. If deadlines can be set and success can be measured, it is easier to achieve goals.
- The objectives should be flexible. This is the most important feature in the current context. We must be able to adapt to the situation, the pace and the emerging needs.
Steps to follow in career planning
When planning your professional career, you must take into account the training received and to be received, the work that is done and to which you aspire and also, the hours of dedication that this implies, private life, leisure activities … All of this It must fit together like a puzzle to achieve the objectives.
Once we have this clear, we must design the Career Plan. How do you do it? Marta López and Ana Sesé, from the Pere Tarrés Foundation, state that We can mark two moments in a Career Plan, the first, his planning or design and, the second, his implementation. Precisely, planning consists of the following steps:
2.- Define objectives: The objectives must be consistent with our qualifications and personal situation, as well as with the needs of the labor market. As we have said before, the optimal formula is to look for realistic objectives that can be met in the short term and that are easy to quantify.
3.- Analyze the labor market and our professional profile. In order to design an optimal career plan, it is necessary to know the job market and analyze our skills, training and experience. The information on the labor market will allow us to know the state of the matter, the requirements that are sought for the desired job position, the companies that work in this field and the essential academic training. Regarding the profile itself, we must check if we fit into this dream job, what weak points we must improve, what strengths we can enhance and what training we need to complete.
4.- Define the action plan. At this point we ask ourselves … what concrete actions allow us to achieve our goal? For Marta López and Ana Sesé we must think that Perhaps we lack some specific training, then we will have to choose the most appropriate training or course, or carry out some internships in an area where we have little experience, etc. Or simply organize our job search.
5.- Do you have doubts? Orient yourself! Guidance services can accompany you in the design of your career plan. Professionals will help you find information to define your objectives, learn about the resources, tools and job search strategies, design the appropriate training itinerary, consider all options for entrepreneurship, access the public administration, unions, companies, etc.
Career Management. United Nations JPO Service
Ferrés, C. (2013) Why is it important to plan your career? Article published in Prouniversitarios. Accessed 04/11/2014
Pérez Ruiz, D. (2011), Five steps to planning our professional career in a constantly changing Labor Market. Article published by Educaweb in Monograph 236 on Job Search. Accessed 04/11/2014