Career Planning - Technical Writing Service

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Arts & Humanities, Communications
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Career Planning

Course Objectives The objective of this course is to inform participants about career planning, both short and long term, to help guide you along the desired career path of your choice.You will be introduced to a SWOT analysis to evaluate your own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your career. You will learn about marketable job skills and the importance of networking. Once a career path is chosen, you will learn effective resume writing and interviewing skills. The course covers how to write a quality resume, the importance of cover letters, helpful tips on what to include and exclude from these documents and important interviewing techniques that are crucial to landing the job. After successful completion of this course, you will know what important skills you should include in your resume and how to prepare for a successful interview.

Agenda Here are the topics covered in the Career Planning section of the course: Short Term Planning Long Term Planning Marketable Job Skills SWOT Analysis Career Strengths Career Weaknesses Career Opportunities Career Threats Networking Where to Network Networking Strategies Goals Objectives Plan

Short Term Planning Short term career planning focuses on a timeframe ranging from the coming year to the next few years. Here are the steps to creating a short term career plan: 1. Identify your next career move. Narrow down the choices and focus on one or two careers. 2. Conduct detailed career research and gather information on the careers that most interest you. 3. Pinpoint the qualifications you need to move to the next step in your career or to make the move to a new career path. 4. Compare your current profile with the qualifications developed in step 3. How far apart are the two profiles? F fairly well-matched, it may be time to switch to a job search. If fairly apart, can you realistically achieve the qualifications in the short term? 5. Develop a plan to get qualified. Make a list of the types of qualifications you need to enhance your standing for your next career move. Develop a timeline and action pan for achieving each type, being sure o set specific goals and priorities.

Long Term Planning Long term career planning: ◦ Involves a planning of five years or longer and a broader set of guidelines and preparation. ◦ Should be more about identifying and developing core skills that employers will always value while developing your personal and career goals in broad strokes. ◦ Core workplace skills: Communication (verbal and written), critical and creative thinking, teamwork and team-building, listening, social, problem-solving, decision-making, interpersonal, project management, planning and organizing, computer/technology and commitment to continuous/lifelong learning. ◦ Identifying career Trends: How you prepare for future career changes and developments. Conducting research on careers.

Marketable Job Skills Overview There are a five main marketable job skills that you should not only be aware of, but possess and include in your career planning assessment.

Research and Planning


Human Relations

Work Survival

Organization, Management and Leadership

Marketable Job Skills - Communication Communication: the skillful expression, transmission and interpretation of knowledge and ideas.

Speaking effectively

Writing concisely

Listening attentively

Expressing ideas

Facilitating group

Providing appropriate



feedback Perceiving nonverbal messages Reporting

Persuading Describing feelings Editing

information Interviewing

Marketable Job Skills – Research and Planning Research and Planning: the search for specific knowledge and the ability to conceptualize future needs and solutions for meeting those needs.

Forecasting, predicting

Creating ideas

Identifying problems

Imagining alternatives

Identifying resources

Gathering information

Solving problems

Setting goals

Extracting important information

Defining needs


Developing evaluation strategies

Marketable Job Skills – Human Relations Human Relations: the set of interpersonal skills for resolving conflict, relating to and helping

Developing rapport

Being sensitive


Conveying feelings

Providing support for others


Sharing credit



Delegating with respect


Representing others Perceiving feelings, situations


Marketable Job Skills – Organization, Management and Leadership Organization, Management and Leadership: the ability to supervise, direct and guide individuals and groups in the completion of tasks and fulfillment of goals.

Initiating new ideas

Handling details

Coordinating tasks

Managing groups

Delegating responsibility




Promoting change

Selling ideas or products

Decision making with others

Managing conflict

Marketable Job Skills – Work Survival Work Survival: the daily skills that assist in promoting effective production.

Implementing decisions


Enforcing policies

Being punctual

Managing time

Attention to detail

Meeting goals

Enlisting help

Accepting responsibility

Setting and meeting deadlines


Making decisions

SWOT Analysis In order to accurately evaluate and understand your career planning, you should conduct a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). When you look at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, it can help develop a career direction by matching your capabilities and experiences with the correct career path you are looking into. You can learn more about SWOT analysis at:

Career Strengths Your strengths are the positive aspects of your life that make your knowledge and work experience different from everyone else. Examples: + Work experience + Education + Strong technical knowledge within your field + Specific transferable skills such as communication, teamwork and leadership + Personal characteristics such as strong work ethic, self discipline, ability to work under pressure, creativity and high level of energy + Good contacts or successful networking + Interaction with professional organizations

Career Strengths (Articles) Here are some good online articles that describe how looking at your strengths is beneficial to your career planning: ◦ Article on Focusing on your Strengths:

◦ Article on Assessing Strengths and Weaknesses:

Career Weaknesses Your weaknesses are the negative aspects of your life that you need to improve on. Examples: – Lack of work experience – Low GPA or a different major then your career field – Lack of goals, self knowledge or lack of job knowledge – Weak technical skills – Weak business skills, such as leadership, interpersonal, communication or teamwork – Weak job-hunting skills or negative personal characteristics such as poor work ethic, lack of discipline, lack of motivation, indecisiveness, shyness or too emotional

Career Weaknesses (Articles) Although you will feel uncomfortable discussing your possible weaknesses, it may be necessary to do so in an interview.You should always try to turn your weaknesses into a positive, showing that you have changed or are trying to apply a change to lessen these weaknesses.

Here is a good article on how to address interview questions about your weaknesses:

Career Opportunities Your opportunities are the positive conditions that you do not control, but you plan to take advantage of. Examples: + Positive trends in your field that create more jobs + Opportunities you could have in the field by enhancing your education + A need for your specific knowledge or skills + Opportunities for advancement in your field + Geography + Strong network of contacts

Career Threats Your threats are negative conditions that you do not control and you may not be able to lessen. Examples: – Negative trends in your field – High competition from others in your field with more knowledge or education – Limited advancement in your field – Companies not hiring people with your education or skills

Career Threats (Articles) Have you ever thought about what could happen to the industry you are looking into or are currently working in? What would happen if your type of job was no longer in demand? This is not a pleasant thought, but proactively thinking about the threats and potential obstacles in your career planning can help you to direct your career planning efforts in the right direction. Here is a good article with a list of potential career obstacles: e3careers/pdf/jobsearch/IdentifyingObstacles.pdf+career+obstacles &hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=5

Networking Have you ever heard the phrase “It’s all in who you know?” It’s stated because it’s true. Many people land jobs because they form a relationship with another person who can help them along their career planning path. For this reason, network contacts often turn out to be the best source of information. ◦ They provide you with information about careers. ◦ They counsel you in interests, skills, experiences and goals. ◦ They generate job leads.

Where to Network Networking can happen anywhere, if you keep your eyes open to the opportunities that exist around you in your everyday activities. Here are a few great places to network:       

One to one meetings Conferences and Conventions Career or Job Fairs Academic/Training Settings Networking meetings The Internet Social/Community settings

Networking Strategies Networking with others to further your career path is not as hard as it may sound. It can be as easy as starting up a conversation with a person in a training session to calling an executive and building a relationship. No matter how you network, you should have a strategy for what you can get out of the networking session. A networking strategy consists of:  Establishing well-defined goals  Setting objectives to reach those goals  Creating a plan to meet those objectives

Goals Goals are an end you are striving to reach by various means. Goals should:  Reflect your own values, not societies  Be realistic and Attainable, not fantasies

Objectives Objectives are the “mini goals” along the way to a goal. Objectives should be:  Measurable  Realistic  Logical means to a desired end

Plan A plan is a “to do” list consisting of actions that will lead to objectives being met. A plan should:  Be systematic  Balance quantity and quality  Fit your personal style  Fit your goals  Be based on thorough preparation

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