Planning for a New Career

Posted on: July 16, 2013, by :

A New Career Begins with Understanding Your Needs/Preferences

The amount of self reflection that will be useful to you will depend upon your circumstances and the progress you’ve made in the process of planning for a new career or job search.  The purpose of this exercise is to encourage a review of the attributes of your current position and determine the extent to which they meet your needs/preferences and compare them with those of a future position. 

Numerous tools are available but a simple snapshot using a current/future state exercise may be a sufficient use of your time and help you get started quickly.

Click here to access the Current/Future State Exercise template.  

To complete the Current Position exercise, place a “1” in the field beside each attribute indicating whether your current position (or former position if currently unemployed) meets or does not meet your needs/preferences.  You may skip the attributes that don’t apply to you and customize the exercise template to include additional attributes that are relevant to your needs/preferences.

Next, work through the exercise template for your desired future position completing the fields similar to how you did for your current position.  While this is a simple exercise it offers you a means for structuring your reflection.

Many of us understand our needs/preferences for our careers or jobs but seldom take the time for reflection.

Keep in mind that you may decide to pursue a position that will bring you one step closer to your ideal position.  A transition position may be necessary for you given your circumstances.  This can occur when someone needs to gain additional knowledge, skills, or experience that can only be realized through another “transition” position.  The current/future state exercise can encourage you to reflect upon what you ultimately seek and help you reaffirm what you will pursue in the longer term even if you need to secure a different position that doesn’t offer everything you seek in the short term.

As you begin to plan for a new career or job you need to understand what motivates you and determine how you will define successAlso consider that both your personality and work style preferences impact your performance and contentment in your work environment and should also be considered during career planning.

When considering a career or job change reflection early on in the process can help you save time and energy by ensuring your actions are aligned with pursuing what you really need or prefer.  This is one of our Career Management tools that can help you get started in planning for a new career or job search today.

Click here to access the Current/Future State Exercise template.  


Photo by Thomas Hawk, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license.


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