Planning your career can be quite daunting, however, taking time to map out exactly what you want in life can help you realise your ambitions and give you that extra strength to solidify your goals for the future.

You need to take time and consideration when planning your career, as you will need to contemplate what skills you already have, what you need to achieve to progress, and if there’s any other skills you need to learn. Whether you’re planning your first job, or looking to move or change career, there are countless ways in which you can achieve this. Analyse your ambitions by considering your interests, values and strengths. This will then give you enough ammunition to begin your research on your chosen career and commence arranging the pins in your life map.

Once you begin exploring your chosen career path, make in-depth notes and find out as much as you can about that job to ensure that it is the correct position for you. Then once you have discovered the type of work you might enjoy and narrowed down the skills in which you have to offer to employers, you should begin to have a much more detailed picture of yourself and the type of career you’d like to progress towards.

The next stage would be to begin researching the range of positions and options that are available and that also match your skill level. There may be a range of jobs spanning different sectors applicable to your education and skill set, so this may leave you with a variety of options to choose from. It is also important to review the skills or qualifications that you still need, and take time in ascertaining how you would approach this. Do you need a certain level of mathematical qualification for the intended role you desire? Or perhaps you need a specific communications or healthcare qualification. Whichever it is, find out what courses you need to take to gain them and make steps in moving towards your goal. Also determine whether you are willing to relocate for a new job, or just want to stay within your local area.

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Reviewing your CV is extremely important in the career planning process. Looking at your CV objectively will give you an idea of how well it sells you for the particular role it is that you’re working towards. Observe the requirements for the job you’re seeking and ensure that you include all relevant evidence of this in the document. You could seek advice from a recruitment agency or HR specialist, as they will be able to give you tips on how to tackle certain points within your CV and show you how to amend it in the correct way.

Work experience is a fantastic way of gaining skills in your chosen area, and any employer will see this beneficial to their company when interviewing for them. This demonstrates that you are willing to learn and are passionate about your chosen career.

Being visible and searchable online will enhance your chances of finding a new job. LinkedIn is a great platform for doing this if utilised correctly, as this professional network allows you to research and network with great individuals, as well as companies. You can also perform job searches and apply for them through LinkedIn, which lets companies view your online profile and offer you an interview if they are impressed. You can also use other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to look for companies you would like to work for. Following them will indicate that you are interested in what they have to offer. Companies also tend to advertise their job vacancies through their social media channels before posting them on recruitment websites, so keep checking for updates regularly.

Priming yourself for your ideal career is crucial, so read as many books you can about the selected industry which interests you. What type of challenges do people face within this area? Is there certain information that you would be expected to brush up on? Keeping an eye on your chosen career path and being up to date with the advances and hot topics within the industry or sector can be favourable to employers. Talking to friends or family who are already in that line of work can do wonders also. Remember to use them to your advantage, as they are living the job and can advise you on the best routes to take into the industry.

Use as many methods as possible in your job search. There are so many channels available at your fingertips which will make your quest for work less difficult. When using online job sites, make sure that you are getting the best out of them by utilising them properly and efficiently. Upload your CV so that recruiters come to you, instead of you going to them. As well as using the sources on the web, make a list of companies you’d like to target, along with current opportunities and networking events in your area. Make yourself known within the industry you’re interested in and be proactive.

Staying motivated and focused is essential when looking for your ideal career, because sometimes it can take longer than expected. Keep taking steps in moving forward towards your goal; no matter how small it is, as consistent action will help you to succeed in the long run. A fulfilling career that you enjoy, and also makes you enough money will obviously benefit your lifestyle. Keeping this in mind will spur you on to keep making positive stepping stones towards finding the right job. Always remember to keep positive about planning and implementing your career goals, and don’t lose sight of your objective; because you will get there!