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Hazards to beware of in career planning:

Dont plan a career based on money.

Dont plan a career because you think you should choose it.
Dont plan a career on a whim.

Climbing steps to your career

These steps will help you: Find out how to choose your career How to reach your career goals. How to remain marketable

Career Planning

Steps to Planning a Career

The first three steps toward finding a career thats right for you.

3 Decision Making
Career Objectives Personal Objectives Lifelong Learning Goal Setting

2 Research
Career Trends Information Search Information Interviews Job Shadowing Gaining Experience

1 Self Assessment





Knowledge& Learning


Step One: Self Assessment

The first step in career planning process begins with learning about yourself. Interest inventories, aptitude tests, and personality indicators are some tools you may use to assess yourself.

Ask yourself some of the following questions: What do I like to do?

What things do I do best? What type of environment do I prefer? Do I want to work with people, machines, or data? What things are important to me on a job?

Examine how you use your leisure time. What

does it suggest about abilities? Interest? Values? Strengths? And Weaknesses? Talk with a friend or family member who is a good listener. Talk with a career counselor and secure any written material that will help you in your analysis. Identify your skills, especially those you enjoy using, your motivated skills.

Take tests or inventories that measure your abilities, interests, values and personality. Write out your reactions to the results.

Look at your course work and other achievements. Which subjects have you done well in, or not so well in? What does this tell you about your abilities mechanical aptitude, verbal ability, numerical ability and so on? Write your analysis down.

Names of Inventories and aptitude test may be obtained from the Counseling office located on all campuses or on-line. Most interest inventories are accessible on line. The most familiar to our counseling staff and office is the Discover Inventory which is online and can be done in the privacy of your own home by obtaining a user ID from any counselor.

Step 2 Research:
Information search Research occupations to find out more about the nature of the jobs that interest you, educational requirements, salary, working conditions, future outlook, and anything else that will help you narrow your focus.

Research occupations on the internet, in the career center and libraries. Job information resources Directories of employers Company brochures and annual reports Newspapers and journals Government publications Job Placement offices on GTCC Jamestown Campus and other college campuses Business magazines and TV programs

Career Trends: Recent trends suggest a connection between levels of education and earning power. Pay can vary widely between and within occupations. Notice the trends and find out occupations outlook for growth. Identify what training and education are needed to enter your field of interest.

Job Shadowing program involves going to work for a day or several with someone whose career interest you. You observe tasks and skills required for the job, experience the work environment and interact with people who currently work in your potential career field.

Gaining experience while exploring career options, will give you a head start on your future career. Take advantage of opportunities to try out a career through work-based learning programs, summer or part-time jobs, or community volunteer.
Participating in worked-based learning opportunities will give you the edge when applying for new jobs. Work-based learning offers a world of networking opportunities, the best way to meet potential employers and other people who can provide job referrals.

Step 3 Decision Making This section will help you establish objectives in the areas of career, personal, and lifelong learning. You will be able to set goals and write a career plan. Objectives in all steps are important in the decision-making process. If you have completed steps 1 and 2 then you are ready to continue the process of decisionmaking and planning.

The Decision-making process can be used for developing many types of careerrelated decisions. For example, you can determine: Which occupational field to enter Whether to start a small business Which training/educational program to take Whether to change jobs Whether to change an occupation

Career Objectives
In order to establish your objectives you need to have a sense of direction and some general goals to work toward. Organize your ideas into 3 groups; long-term, medium-term and short term. Once you have developed your objectives work backward taking one step at a time toward your ultimate goal.

Personal Objective Once you have a sense of what you are trying to accomplish you must look for matches between your strengths and the strengths that are required to do the ultimate career goal you are considering. Then think, what kinds of majors/ educational training fit the occupations I am thinking about?

To be successful in visualizing your work, you need to have a strong desire for the goals to be achieved, a belief that the goal is possible to attain, and a willingness to live with the outcome.

Recent high school graduates will have to include some education and skill training when charting their career path. Also a need of ongoing education or training in the future to remain marketable.

Education and training after High School can be obtained by:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. On the job Private business or trade school Community College Apprenticeship Four year institutions Military

On the Job You may go directly to work for a company or business that will train you as you work. You can inquire about programs for ongoing employee training.

Private business or trade school Short-term training ( one month to one year) is available for some occupations, usually with no special entrance requirements. Cost and length of programs vary and purchase of special tools may increase cost.

Community College
When considering technical, vocational programs, the N.C. Community College System offers a variety of programs (one semester to two years) that lead to certificates, diplomas, or associates degrees. They also offer two-year transfer programs and specialized training for industry. For more information, visit the community college system website at

Apprenticeship This is 3-4 year training program that combines on-the-job training with related technical and educational instruction for skilled occupations, supervised by a master in the craft, trade, or occupational area. Apprentice occupations are registered with the Division of Apprenticeship, North Carolina Department of Labor. For more information visit

Four-year college
There are many public, private colleges and universities in North Carolina. The local library, school counseling office, or career center are good sources of college information. Requirements are based primarily on high school grades and college entrance test scores. For more information you can visit College Foundation of N.C. at

An individual can work for Uncle Sam ad get training, pay, room and board, and benefits. You must be a high school graduate. For more information contact your local recruiter at the branch of service preferred.

Lifelong Learning Individuals will need to change to keep pace. So that means continuous learning and updating and ongoing adjustment to your portfolio of skills and knowledge. Learning can come from: On the job training Home through audio/video tapes, internet and print materials Day or Evening courses in a community or educational institution

Goal Setting
A goal is the results of an aim or the end towards which efforts are directed. A goal is where you want to be.
Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely Specific means detailed, particular or focused. A goal should have the answer to who, where, what, when, and how? Measurable goals should be quantitative. Think of ways the achievement can be readily observed. Achievable goals are self-maintained, the achievement of the goal is up to you.

When developing your goals you must use SMART:

Realistic goals that are practical and possible. Realistic goals are practical and possible. Timely goals are scheduled. There is a set specified time of completion, a deadline.
A goal is where you want to be, but a plan is the strategy you use to get there. Planning turns goals into tangible small steps of action. As your interests and expertise change you can adjust your plans and goals.

Second Set of Steps:

6 Life/Work Planning

5 Work
Work Offers & Acceptance

4 Networks & Contacts

Work Search Resumes & Letters Interviews

Approximately 80% of all job openings are never advertised. The best approach to finding the most job openings is through networking. Networking is a systematic method of getting someone you know to introduce you to someone you dont know. Share your job interests and qualifications with people you know and let them know what type of job you want to pursue.

Step Four: Network & Contact

Once you have decided on your career field and completed the education and /or training needed for obtaining a job, you are ready for the hunt. Search for the right job requires you to use all process information obtained from steps one thru three.

Work Search

Get ready for your work search

Use traditional methods to find job openings Use creative methods to find employment



Research employers
Network: develop leads and make contacts

Job Search Tips

Send e-mail to networking contacts Search for job openings Submit resumes to electronic resume banks E-mail resumes to interested managers Post e-portfolios with digital samples of your work Research companies, industries and agencies

Job sites
GTCC Career Center-Jamestown Campus Employment Kiosk-Jamestown Campus, First Level The Riley N.C. Job Bank Americas Job and Talent Career Builder- Career magazine Career Resource Center- Hot Jobs- Job Bank USA-

A good resume is an important marketing tool that you can send to employers. Steps to developing a resume: 1. Define your career job and objective 2. List all your past work 3. List all your education and training 4. Organize this information 5. Proofread and revise Assistance for writing a resume maybe obtained from GTCC Career Center, Career Choice in North Carolina and online at different job websites.

Effective letter writing is an essential aspect of your job search 1. Cover letter 2. Thank-you letters 3. letters in response to being decline for a job 4. Withdrawing from consideration and declining job offer letters 5. Acceptance letter

Interview is a mutual exchange of information between employer and a candidate for a position.

Supply information about yourself that is not contained in resume

Show that you understand yourself and have a sense of direction in your career

Enable the employer to evaluate your personality and attitudes in terms of the demands of the organization and position

Allow you to gain information about the organization and the job, which is not available through other resources

UNDERSTANDING WORK ENVIRONMENT Having confidence Competence Dependability
Time Management


Work Offers and Acceptance ELEMENTS TO CONSIDER IN YOUR DECISION: Company/organization Management and co-workers Potential for promotion Compensation Job Organization culture Community


Re-assess interest, the job Ask reflecting questions of self Ask that will answer how, what, where and went Does my chosen work fit with my life style If your answer to most of the reflecting questions is no then the planning cycle begins again.

P l Planning a

Repeat Steps: 5 and 6

Repeat Steps : 1and 2

for your future is An on-going process and will Change as your needs do.

Repeat Steps: 3 and 4