Career planning is the process of determining your final objective in the world of work be it a CEO, field specialist or professional independent consultant and helping you get there. This planning process provides you with general steps from the start, so you can decide what you are going to do in order to successfully reach your goal.
The most important aspect of Career Planning is reading and research which is then followed by your resolve and determination in attaining this goal.
Below are some useful steps to helping you create a personal career plan:
|STEP #1: SELF ASSESSMENT
|The first step in deciding the best career is evaluating yourself. Various factors to consider when selecting a career field include knowing;
Ask yourself reflective questions such as;
- Your interests
- Your likes and dislikes
- Your personality
- Your strengths
- What area do I want to work in? I.T, Marketing, Management, Art, Mathematics?
- Do I want to work in an office or be on the go?
- Do I want to do theoretical work or practical work?
- Do I like getting my hands dirty?
- Do I want to travel the world?
SIGI 3 is an easy to use online tool which can help you to select a major career by assessing your values, interests, personality type, and skills.
Take the SIGI 3 Assessment (Only available on Campus)
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a test which administers a series of questions and based on the responses provided, returns a 4 letter personality type which indicates your attitude, function and lifestyle preferences. This 4 letter personality type can then be used to narrow the list of career options which would be most suited for the participant.
Take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test
DISCLAIMER; The above test is provided as a free sample to determining your personality. For the full test and a more accurate description of your personality type you should make an appointment with the Career Counsellor.
Truity provides both free and paid services including personality and career assessments similar to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and can help you identify your Holland Code then proceeds to go a step further by providing indepth analysi of your personality type and providing additional information such as strengths and weaknesses.
DISCLAIMER; The above test is provided as is by Truity Psychometrics LLC and the service and its results are in no way affiliated with the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus. For specifically tailored evaluations, please contact the Career Counsellor.
Take the Truity Assessment
|STEP #2: FIND CAREER OPTIONS BASED ON YOUR ASSESSMENT
After the self assessment you may want to explore possible careers typically enjoyed or preferred by persons similar to you. This can help you to either broaden or narrow possible options even further. The more self assessment you do, the more likely you are to narrow down the career choice to the field you truly love. Based on the 4 letter personality type and other information gleaned thus far you may also have an idea of possible areas to work, or volunteer in. OSS and the Guild of Students offer many avenues to get involved both at the community and student professional organisational level.
The following link is one of many which provides a general list of careers suitable for personality types -> LINK
Please note that the lists are only suggestive and in no way exhaustive. A quick google search for jobs for your individual personality type can provide additional lists which can add to your available options.
|STEP #3: SELECT A MAJOR AND STUDY PLAN
|The start of your journey on your career path begins here. Now that you have identified a career choice, you need to start with a step in the right direction. The major being your primary area of study, means that the one being chosen should be relevant in your career plan and provide you with a solid foundation on which to stand upon completion of education. If at this point you are unsure of which major to choose, now is the best time to do deeper research.
Important research steps include:
- Search the internet - check the internet for any information regarding the career and major you wish to pursue. Use the useful links such as what can I do with this major or one of the others provided on the resources page.
- Consult the faculty office - the most concentrated form of information regarding the career you are interested in pursuing can be found by contacting the office and being referred to a person knowledgeable in the area. Similarly, you may want to check the webpages of each faculty to see which lecturers have any experience in the career so you may contact them directly
- Consult the Career Counsellor - speaking to the career counsellor can provide you with information which is a culmination of periodic research on their part and experience gained from assisting previous students who have walked the same path you did. Ask about the mentorship program.
If you are a new student
After obtaining all the information regarding the major, make one last check with the faculty office before registering.
If you are a current student
Consult your faculty advisor for advice regarding electives and other skills required for successful completion of your degree. Both the academic advisor and career counsellor can assist you to identify study skills and other tools to be successful along this journey.
|STEP #4: DEVELOP YOUR SKILLS
Once you have set up your career plan and completed your major selection, you now need to develop skills which will be essential in helping you reach your objective(s). This is where you decide which electives will be most beneficial to you in the long run. This is where both soft and hard skills are developed with a goal being to prepare you for your desired career.
For example, Economics is heavily reliant on Statistics so taking statistic based electives could be more rewarding than taking Marketing courses for someone with a career goal as an economist.
This stage is also where you can start researching specific concentrations or specialties and trying to obtain the skills and knowledge while in school to streamline the process. This primarily means obtaining certifications in the areas which can be done during or after completion of tertiary level education.
For more information, you may check the resources page here which is updated regularly to provide the most useful and relevant information.
N.B. For persons wishing to work outside of the Caribbean, you should take special care to research certifications, visa requirements and cultural information relevant to various territories.
N.B. Foreign language clubs and study abroad experiences can also help you to prepare for work outside of the region or with international customers.
|STEP #5: START YOUR JOURNEY
Now that you have all of the information needed to start aiming for your career, you just need to continuously take active steps to make this goal a reality.
We live in an ever changing world and as a result things are always being updated or rendered obsolete. DO NOT forget to occasionally do some research on the skills required for your career to ensure that you are still on the right track to achieving your goals. Remember to chronicle these action steps and other gains made along the way in a portfolio as this helps when it is time to apply for internships, jobs and graduate school.