Individual Project: Career Plan
PURPOSE: This assignment is intended to start you thinking and planning ahead for your career. Hopefully, you will view this assignment as a first attempt at developing a plan that you will come back to again and again to evaluate your career progress and revise as necessary. Hopefully, you will all learn a great deal from this assignment. The key to getting the most out of it is to be honest with yourself and to spend time deeply considering the questions and your answers. You might try treating this as an exercise in personal strategic planning! (think: Where am I? Where do I want to be? How do I get there?)
Since each of these career plans is specific to that individual, they are very difficult to grade on any objective criteria. What I will be looking for is approximately as follows:
A : Did an outstanding job, showed depth of thought and analysis
B : Just answered the questions with some depth in thought and analysis
C or D : Just answered the questions with minimal work involved
F: Showed no thought; didn’t answer the questions, obviously did not take this assignment seriously
0 : Did not turn in the assignment
Your career plan should be written in 4 to 6 typewritten pages (in either single or double space format).
First: State the industry in which you wish to develop a career.
**Hint: Business is not an industry. Marketing is not an industry. Management is not an industry. Be sure to define as clearly as possible the industry you are interested in. Sometimes just stating the industry is not enough. For example, if you are planning a career in the Health Care Industry, please state whether you plan to be a physician, nurse, pharmaceutical representative, hospital administrator, etc. If you are planning on teaching – at what grade level? What subject(s). If you want to be a consultant, do you know for which industry? What type of consultant?**
Next: Answer the questions in the following three sections. Answer the questions one at a time – do not just write one long essay.
SECTION 1: Self-Assessment
1. What skills, knowledge, attitudes, and/or aptitudes do I have which will contribute to success in this career?
2. Do I have any weaknesses that may limit my success in this career?
**Hint: Be brutally honest. Think outside the box – go beyond academics. None of you have all of the education you will need.
SECTION 2: Opportunities in my chosen field
1. Are there a lot of people wanting careers in this field? (Why?)
2. What will happen to jobs in this field in the future? (For example, think about these issues: Is this a growing or a shrinking career path?)
3. How do I compare to other candidates for the job I want? (i.e., Do I stand out from the crowd? Why?)
**Hint: Don’t just make assumptions. Actually try to find out and use facts to support your answers.
SECTION 3: Career Plans (as of now!)
1. What are my short term (1-3 year) career goals?
2. What are my intermediate (3-5 year) goals?
3. What are my long term (5-10 year) goals?
**Hint: Some of these goals may derive from your answers about your strengths, weaknesses and comparability to others in the market for this job. If you have identified weaknesses, this might be a good time to think about how and when you will eliminate them or turn them into assets.
When actually doing career planning there are two more steps to this process. You do not need to address these. I am merely including them for your future use.
Section 4: Implement your plan.
Section 5: Revise your plan as necessary. This includes monitoring your progress, asking for feedback on your progress from others, comparing your results to your planned objectives, then revising your plan as necessary.
Remember: The business environment is changing rapidly. The concepts involved in strategic management of companies are also valuable in planning your career strategy. Scan your environment. Be aware of challenges to your chosen career path. Plan to acquire new knowledge and skills as the environment changes. Be aware of the effect that the economic, legal and social environments may have on your career choices.
Mostly: Remember that a career plan is not something you do once and then store it in a laptop/ cloudsomewhere. Okay, so it might be, but it sure won’t be effective if used that way!