Creating Your Career Plan, Part 2 - August 29, 2017

Do you have your eye on your next career opportunity? Perhaps you already know what your next assignment or promotion will be, but are you preparing for that role? Career planning is an on-going process. It not only helps you determine future career goals, it also steers your professional development. In yesterday's last issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we shared five tips for career planning from Randall S. Hansen, founder of Quintessential Careers. Today, we'll share five more.

1. Look beyond your current job for transferable skills. Some workers get so wrapped up in their job titles that they don't see any other career possibilities for themselves. Every job requires a certain set of skills, and it's much better to categorize yourself in terms of these skill sets than be so myopic as to focus just on job titles. Hansen uses the example of one job seeker who found herself stuck because she was focused on the title of reporter. But once she looked beyond her job title, she could see that she had transferable skills—writing, editing and researching—that could easily be applied to a wide variety of jobs in many different careers.

2. Review career and job trends. A career path that is expanding today could easily shrink tomorrow-or next year. It's important to see where job growth is expected, especially in the career fields that most interest you. Besides knowledge of these trends, the other advantage of conducting this research is the power it gives you to adjust and strengthen your position—your unique selling proposition—so that your set of skills stands out above the rest.

3. Set career and job goals. A major component of career planning is setting short-term (in the coming year) and long-term (beyond a year) career and job goals. Once you initiate this process, another component of career planning is to review and adjust those goals as your career plans progress or change, and developing new goals once you accomplish your previous goals.

4. Explore new education/training opportunities. As Hansen says, while it's a cliché, information really does lead to success. Never pass up a chance to learn. Part of career planning is going beyond passive acceptance of training opportunities to find new ones that will help enhance or further your career. Take the time to contemplate what types of educational experiences will help you achieve your career goals. Look within your company, your professional association, your local universities and community colleges and online learning programs to find potential career-enhancing opportunities.

5. Research further career/job advancement opportunities. Picture yourself in the future. Where will you be in a year? In five years? A key component to developing multiple scenarios of that future is researching career paths. Look within your current employer and current career field, but again, as with all aspects of career planning, don't be afraid to look beyond to other possible careers.

Source: Randall S. Hansen is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the web; he's also CEO of, and founder of and He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press, including the Quintessential Careers e-newsletter, QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books and hundreds of articles.

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