Planning a career path isn’t a one-time process, but a blueprint that should be revisited and revised throughout your lifetime!
Essentially, it’s about identifying what you love and what you want to achieve and then finding the best way of getting there.
Ready to start planning your future? Here are 5 steps to get your career path on track.
1 - Choose a career
Think long and hard on what type of career you would like to pursue after graduating from college.
If it helps, try to block out all of the distractions by selecting a quiet, tranquil location, so you can fully focus on planning your career path. Take a hard look at the curriculum you’re currently studying, and see if the classes are helping to put you on the right track to your career path.
If not, then select courses that will build the necessary skills desired.
2 - Internship programs
You can obtain a head start on your career path by becoming an intern at one of the leading companies in your selected profession.
This is a great opportunity to gain actual work experience and on-the-job training to see if you want to continue on this career path after graduation. Plus, being intern offers a chance to ask pertinent questions, meet professionals in the industry and add the experience to your resume.
Their answers will provide valuable insight into the daily challenges that are ahead in the workplace. Never let your grades suffer, as you must stay on track with your schoolwork while participating in an internship program.
3 - Evaluate your own career path
With each passing year, try to review every career accomplishment that has taken place in the past twelve months.
The focus should highlight the experiences that provided valuable lessons and became a landmark on your career path.
Re-read all performance reviews and other personal feedback that were given to you over the year, as all of this information will provide the guidance on the skills needed to be successful in your career.
Also, it will help you to analyze your past and assess your current path.
4 - Expect detours on your career path
Never think your career path will be one smooth ride without any detours along the way.
Graduating students must understand they will have to travel several roads along their career path, and each job is a stepping-stone toward obtaining their long-term goal. Periodically, circumstances beyond our control will momentarily derail our career path. Receiving guidance from others who have experienced this before will help to control your emotions during these times of frustration.
You have to take into account that there are many unknown factors you’ll face along your way.
5 - Expect change
Change is a natural part of life, as priorities evolve over time. Your career path isn’t exempt from this process.
Never plan out your career path too far out in advance, as some of those options might no longer exist going forward with your life. A well-planned out career path can be made easier to navigate if you remain open to all the changes and challenges that are ahead.
The variables you should keep an eye on include a changing economy, a changing way of working and the technological advancements in the workplace.
Studying abroad is an option
Have you thought of studying abroad in the UK? As well as gaining valuable experience in living and studying in another country, an international university degree is highly regarded around the world.
As well as making you stand out from the crowd when applying for a job back at home, it could also open your eyes up to working in another country – somewhere where your skills are valued even more.
If you’re interested in a UK university and the benefits it can have on your future, download our free student eBook Studying in the UK: Essential Facts for American Students guide here.
Photo Credit: David Morris