Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Lights... Camera... Action! Step four:

Over the last month I have posted about the Career Planning Process and we are now arriving at the fourth and final step. You have assessed your interests, values, and skills, researched possible career options, made a decision, and now its time to TAKE ACTION!

Taking Action is about putting your plans into action- whether you have decided on a career or to continue with further education, the time is now! Below are some tips for both scenarios
- Researching potential employers
- Thoroughly reviewing job descriptions
- Completing on-line or facilitated workshops offered by Career Services
- Developing marketing tools such as achievement based resumes, cover letters, and portfolios
- Accessing and expanding your network (using LinkedIn and other networking methods such as Information Interviews and attending Career Expos) 
- Practicing effective interview skills 
- Locating part-time, full-time, summer and volunteer work experiences
Further Education:
- Researching educational programs, requirements and deadlines
- Speaking with Program Coordinators and Advisers about program
- Visiting the institutions you are considering
- Looking at the Career Services events calendar to see what institutions will be on campus
- Preparing for educational entrance exams
-Collecting transcripts and letters of reference 
- Preparing a personal statement, letter of intent, curriculum vitae, resume, and/or portfolio

Our friends from Cosmic Coaching Center also wrote some greatly inspiring tips to help you take action. 

How to Take Action in Career Planning
Once you have made up your mind as to what career path you are going to pursue, the next step is for you to figure out how you can make the successful career move. It is never enough that you keep planning, because at the end of the day, it is all about executing your action plan.
Here are some tips you can use to create an excellent action plan.
#1 Set specific goals.
Planning to change careers or perhaps return to school is a bit too general. For you to get enough motivation, it is important that your goal be specific. You could set a goal like “look for a career in the medical field” or in whatever industry you want to be in. What really matters is that you know what it is exactly that you want to achieve and when you should do it.
#2 Plan it step-by-step.
One essential thing to do to move forward is to know what steps to take to get closer to your goals. It isn’t enough that you know what you want to achieve; you must figure out ways to achieve it. You can do this by determining the steps you need to take. If you are sure about pursuing a career in dentistry, for instance, you should know what qualifications you should have to become a dental practitioner. Do you have the qualified degree? Do you possess the certificates needed for such a career? This way, you will know what you already have and what you still don’t have. This will also guide you as you make a concrete plan for the achievement of your ultimate goal.
#3 Prepare an excellent resume.
Your resume reflects who you are as a professional and what you can do that will benefit the company that is to hire you. With that said, it is important that you make it as informative and accurate as possible. Bear in mind as you write your resume that it should impress the potential employer or hiring manager. Make sure that you put in only the information that is relevant to the position you are applying for. There is no need for your resume to be wordy and lengthy. Go straight to the point and show the hiring manager the many reasons you deserve the job you are applying for.
#4 Put all your plans into action.
At this point, you may already have listed all the things you need to do so you could execute your career plan. What you should do now is set deadlines for every task that you have. Use a calendar where you should note the names of the companies you wish to work for. If you think you need to enhance your resume by adding relevant experience, then start looking for corporate events or even training seminars that you can participate in. This is a crucial part of your career planning because there is no sense in making plans without properly putting them into action.

About the author: 

Cecile Peterkin is a certified career and retirement coach, and a registered member of the Career Professionals of Canada and the International Coach Federation. She is also the Founder and Senior Career Strategist at Cosmic Coaching Center, provider of career and life management services for middle managers and mid-career professionals across Canada, United States and Europe.

Alysha-Lynn Kooter, Career Assistant, 2nd Year Intermediate/Senior Con-Ed Visual Art and English 

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