Questions on enrolling? We're here 9am-9pm ET Mon-Fri

Ashworth College Blog

How to Make a Career Plan (Guide)

Written by Des Sinkevich on Tuesday, 12 April 2022. Posted in Career

Notebook with

Taking the first steps toward starting a new career can feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! With thought and planning, you can make career success a reality this year. Here’s how to get started.

Don’t wait to plan your career – start now

Planning for success isn’t just something you’ll do once, after graduating high school. It’s an ongoing process that should happen every time you’re thinking of taking a new step in your career or applying for new jobs. It allows you to have a clear roadmap for your future and can account for any roadblocks that get in the way. Planning for success also allows you to clearly see what next steps you need to take to reach specific goals!

4 steps to create a career plan

One effective way to start planning for success is to create a career plan. A career plan helps you figure out what you want to do, what skills you need to get there, and what jobs may be the best suited to you. This can involve several steps, but the easiest planning process involves just four.

1. Assess your skills and interests

The first step to creating an effective career plan is understanding what you can do and what you’re interested in doing. Think about what you’re good at. Do you like working with people and have great customer service skills? Are you someone who prefers to work alone or as part of a team? Knowing what you like and don’t like can help you narrow down what industry and specific job you may be best at.

If you’re not sure where to start, taking a free personality or career assessment test can help you narrow down your interests and career options. Some good tests to start with include the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, which helps you find out more about your personality, what you like to do, and what jobs are generally good for similar personality types, and this 15-question online aptitude test which helps you narrow down your interests and provides a list of jobs that may suit you.

2. Explore career options

Once you have a better idea of what kinds of jobs may work best for your interests and personality, you can explore the different career options you have. First, make a list of the careers you’re most interested in, eliminating any that you just know aren’t for you. Then, when you’ve narrowed down your list to the careers that are most appealing to you, you can move on to the next step.

3. Identify careers you’re interested in

You’ve identified which careers you’re most interested in. Now, you’ll want to do research into each option and find out what kind of skills you need for the job, job outlook for the industry, how many jobs are available, and whether you need a specific type of education. This may help you narrow your list down even further if you’re not sure about pursuing certain degrees or certifications.

Here are some great guides to help you find the right career path for you:

4. Create an effective action plan

After you’ve gotten a better idea of what careers you’re interested in and what skills you need, you should create an action plan that can help you take the first steps toward this new job. An action plan can involve things like

How to meet your goals

After creating a career plan, you want to get started working toward your goals as soon as possible! The sooner you get started, the more motivation you’ll have to keep going.

One of the best ways to meet your goals is to create a checklist of what you need to do to get where you want to be. It also helps to break down each task you need to accomplish into smaller, easier to achieve goals. For example, if you love technology and want to work in IT, you may need to earn a degree to qualify for entry-level jobs in the field. Instead of concentrating on the bigger goal of finishing your degree, break it up into steps like

  • Enrolling into a degree program
  • Taking and passing your first exam
  • Finishing your first semester
  • Finishing your second semester
  • Finishing your third semester
  • Graduating

Not only can breaking down bigger tasks help to visualize what you have ahead of you, it gives you small wins on a regular basis that can motivate you to keep moving forward.

How education can help you find success

Besides helping you build the skills and knowledge that can be necessary to start a new career, furthering your education can also help you find success by showing potential employers that you have what it takes to work in the field.

By earning a diploma or degree, you’re showing others that you are dedicated and have demonstrated that you know what you’re doing in a particular industry. And, while not all careers require you to have gone to college and technical school, having a recognized degree or credential on your resume can help you stand out from other applicants when you’re applying for jobs.

Take the next steps toward the career you want in 2022

If you’re ready to take the next step toward starting a new career this year, taking online classes with Ashworth College can help! With flexible, self-paced programs, you can build career-specific skills and knowledge on your schedule, from home. Not sure what program is right for you? Take our short quiz to find the best program for your goals or reach out to our dedicated Admissions Specialists at 1-800-957-5412 for help!

Let's talk about your educational goals. Call 1-800-957-5412