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Establishing a Career Plan

This article describes that different steps that are involved in establishing a career plan. By establishing a plan, a student may be able to stay on track and stay motivated in school.

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When you begin thinking about your career, you may want to establish a career plan. Before you start sketching out a plan, you may want to begin by evaluating yourself. Get to know your strengths, weaknesses, preferences, aptitude and personality traits. By being aware of these personal aspects, you may be inspired to look at other career options that you have not considered before. It may also give you a better sense of what careers are best suited for you. If sitting down and thinking about yourself doesn't help, you may want to take a career assessment test at your career center.

Next, you may want to make a list of careers that best fits your interests. Put anything on the list that you may be interested in, and don't worry about meeting the qualifications yet. This exercise allows you to get an idea of what you're interested in before you begin researching the careers more thoroughly. It may also help you realize that your goals and interests have changed.

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  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

After you have a list of possible careers, you may want to pick your favorites and begin researching. Research may involve talking to people who are in that field, speaking to a career counselor, reading career guide books or surfing different websites. Researching may help you get a better understanding of the careers your interested in. When you're researching what types of tasks are involved in your career choices, you may also want to find out what companies hire people in this field. If you're able to talk to somebody from a company, you may want to find out if the company offers any mobility in your field. You may also want to consider other plans that you had in mind. Do you want to get married before you are thirty? Do you want to have kids? Would the demands of this job conflict with any of these plans?

Now that you have done the research, you may want to decide on a specific career that you want to pursue. After you decide on a career, you may want to start researching what type of a major is associated with this field and if a minor in anything would be beneficial. You may want to see if a license is required. Some careers don't require a degree, but instead they require a license. Licenses may be attained through community colleges, vocational school or an accredited occupation program. Finding out your career's requirements may help you stay on track while you're in school. Having this goal during college may also help to keep you motivated especially when things begin getting difficult.

For further information about career planning, you may want to try the Quintessential Careers website, www.quintcareers.com, because it offers a variety of career information or the College Board website, www.collegeboard.com, which organizes careers according to major.

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