Career Planning: How to avoid huge regrets in the future

Career Planning: How to avoid huge regrets in the future

Did you know that most people never do any career planning? For them, the future just happens and you have no control over it. Unfortunately, when you go through life without any career strategy or career planning, you end up wondering at the age of 53 or 61, what happened to the rest of your life.

Did you think career planning is just for students?

The words “career planning” bring to mind career counselors in high school or college. When I was young, I wasn’t one of those students who interacted with counselors. Maybe I missed the memo. It’s almost funny since I worked in the Attendance Office most of my high school career and interacted with counselors, administrators, and teachers constantly. But I didn’t use counselor services to help with career planning.

Unfortunately, this is the only time most people think about career planning if they think of it at all. With 30 years as a career industry professional, I have worked with people at every level of their career. Most of them didn’t give their career much thought except maybe to choose a direction. I believe you need to assess your career and your career path regularly. I would recommend a reassessment at least every five years.

Why think about career planning?

Many people get stuck in careers that they really hate. They don’t change careers or even jobs unless something traumatic happens. They leave career planning and career strategy out of the picture until they hit a bump.

My own lack of career planning

Looking back on my career, I wish I had taken the time to assess my direction. I love being a resume writer and career marketing expert but I wish I had put my full focus in this direction earlier.

I won’t say I was stupid but I just kept on with the direction I was in. In my case, I had paired my career marketing with non-profit management contracts. I thought that would keep money flowing in steadily but what it really did was get me stuck. While other colleagues were getting more training and advancing in the field, I was juggling fundraisers, accounting, event management, and marketing for two or more non-profits and losing momentum in the career field. Admittedly, technology is a huge piece of what I do today and most of it wasn’t invented when I was in the midst of all the non-profit work. However, I know that I should have assessed my options along the way. I don’t plan to retire but I just feel I could have reached my goals sooner if I had dropped the non-profits sooner.

Are you failing to do any career planning?

We live in a volatile economic and political climate today. The ability to communicate globally with a click of a button is both a blessing and a curse. Even if you love your job and career today, you have no assurance that it will be there tomorrow. My advice? Take some time regularly to assess your direction, decide if you are prepared if there would be an interruption, and take the steps to advance education and nurture your network.

I am a triple-certified resume writer whose interactive coaching style helps job seekers earn winning positions when I create tactical resumes and LinkedIn profiles to market you for success. Learn more here.

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Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

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