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Career Planning Can Really Be Worth It
Career planning is one of those things that there are companies for, but I think it is best if you do it yourself. It’s just like debt consolidation. Yes, you have to spend time to do it for yourself, you may even have to do some research, but it’s your money, your life, you should be doing it yourself. In the end, however much they question you about your preferences, you know yourself best.
Think Ahead and Don’t Kid Yourself
The best practice, and best advice in general is, don’t kid yourself. I usually say to myself, OK, I can sleep now, because I can then work 12 hours tomorrow, because I’m home all day. Sure, what a great plan. And you know what? I will be home all day, for 24 hours. I know from experience that I can’t work for 12 hours, I’m just lazy, so I know I won’t be able to do it. Don’t think “in theory”, think about what you know you can do.
Follow the Road
Having said this, you should sit down sometime after college and think about what you want to do. If you want to be a sales manager at a big company you should at least tend to go that way. It’s ok if you work as a receptionist for a few months, or a year, until you get a better job, but always keep the big goal in mind. If the offer you a job as a florist for $2000 a month but you also have the opportunity to be a hotel managers secretary for $1700, do all you can to go for the second opportunity. You get more experience in your field, and are brushing up with potential friends and business partners.
It’s OK, especially at the beginning of your career if you don’t turn directly toward the goal and take a sidestep or two, but you always have to work with what you have, and you may not have had the chance to go that way.
Thinking as a Process
It’s important t think of career planning as a process, not as something you do one night before choosing a job. You don’t say, OK, I’ll do this, and then follow the exact path, even if you break down in the process. You should always accommodate change and use it to your advantage. Be calm, whatever happens, I believe there is no such think as a danger to
someone’s career if they are smart about it. If you are a doctor, falsely accused of medical malpractice you could break down and make all the wrong decisions. You could also be smart, and use this as media exposure. In the end you will be cleared and you could actually have a better practice.So career planning is not just sitting and thinking about what to do. It’s managing of your professional life, a process that goes on and on. Sure, you can sit down and plan, but how on Earth can you plan for something that you don’t know is coming?