Build your Career Plan in 9 Steps - Live Assets

Build your Career Plan in 9 Steps

April 8, 2022 -


How to start your job search


If you are a new graduate or looking to advance or change careers, you need a career plan. Implementing an elaborate career plan can get you started on finding a meaningful and rewarding career.


What is a career plan? 


An effective career plan will list both short and long-term career goals and the necessary steps and milestones needed to achieve them. As you plan your career, you will need to go through research, assessment, decision making, goal setting, and eventually taking action.


9 Steps to Build your Career Plan


  1. Learn and identify career options
  2. Discover growing job markets
  3. compare careers to your skills
  4. review qualifications
  5. compare career paths
  6. Identify next step jobs
  7. Set smart goals
  8. Meet with a recruitment agency
  9. Develop action plan



  1. Learn and identify career options

To kickstart creating your career plans, you first need to consider your final goal; what is your dream job? To find out:

  1. Begin looking at potential career options.
  2. Reach out to your network, and ask family, friends, and colleagues about their jobs.
  3. Compile information on their skills, qualifications, experience, and even what they like or dislike about their job.


Once you understand what you might want to do, research top companies and reach out to experts in the desired field. Attending online or in-person networking events can get you access and in contact with these experts. As you make these connections, you can set up informational interviews and learn of opportunities to gain more experience.


Look out for upcoming career fairs in your area. These events will give you a sense of the wide variety of opportunities available and get you in touch with contacts already in the field.


  1. Research growing job markets 

Growing job markets typically have the most promise for finding a job. To discover these exciting opportunities, it all comes down to research. Compile information from as many sources as possible to fully understand the market and industry trends.


Talk to experts in your field to learn their forecasts for future opportunities. If there aren’t already experts in your network, this is an excellent opportunity to make new connections and get a lead in the field.


Refer to and review data-based studies on the fastest-growing occupations in your region. Studies can immediately tell you jobs with the highest potential and other information such as median salary.


Additional education might be beneficial to understand these topics better. Completing free certifications, online courses, or continuing education programs can set you apart from your competitors.


  1. Compare careers to your skills

Choose a field you’ll feel confident and excel in by identifying your existing skillset.

Think of the technical skills you’ve gained through education, volunteering, and past roles. For example, you might have prior experience and knowledge in coding languages, data analysis, or cloud computing.


You’ll then want to evaluate your soft skills. This skill set consists of behaviours and traits you’ve acquired from past experiences, such as school or work. Examples of soft skills are clear communication, creative problem solving, and leadership.


Create a list of these skills and cross-reference potential jobs that match to see if they fit into any of the career paths you are considering.


  1. Review qualifications

Every career path comes with different requirements and credentials. You might find some paths overlap more than others, but it’s important to understand which qualifications you already have and which ones you are prepared to get.


Begin by reviewing which degrees are needed to work in your desired fields. Are specific bachelor’s degrees needed or potentially further schooling such as a graduate degree?


Next, assess professional certifications that will aid your success in the field. Some professions have licensure requirements so take careful notice of the licensing process specific to your desired working location.


Additionally, seek out workshops or courses that can be an asset to your credentials to get a leg up over other candidates when starting the application phase of your career plan.



  1. Compare and evaluate potential career paths 

At this point, you might have a few career paths in mind but still aren’t sure which one is best for you. If you are still undecided, compare all your options. One path might require more skills or further education, while another might have a significantly higher earning potential. What work do you need to put in, and what rewards come with each option?


It’s important to feel fulfilled in your profession. Some options may help foster personal interests, but another path might just be what you need to excel professionally. Compare how each path aligns with your values and beliefs.


Consider other factors and aspects of a career that are most important to you. If you’re wanderlust, you might want a job that offers travel opportunities or look for roles with remote options if you prefer staying close to home. Be sure to also consider the location and commute. Some careers might have more plentiful opportunities out of your radius, and you need to determine if you’re willing to relocate or have an extensive commute to work.


Ultimately each individual will have different motivations depending on their desires. Weigh each option and determine which one will best deliver for your professional and personal needs. Your pro might be someone’s con.



  1. Identify next step jobs

To land the job of your dreams, you also need to consider what other positions you’ll need leading up. Imagine your career plan as a ladder. Each job you work along the way is another rung added to your ladder. Not everyone’s ladder is the same; some might need more rungs while others might need less.


When considering positions, categorize them into lateral and sequential moves.


Lateral moves: Will help you round out and build your skillset.

Sequential moves: Typically, promotions that will advance you at your professional level. These jobs will bring on higher responsibility.


Pinpoint the requirements and other resources needed to enter these roles:

  • Education
  • Technical and soft skills
  • Years of experience in the industry or field
  • Network connections


  1. Set SMART goals 

Your career plan can take years to implement, making it easy to lose steam and motivation. Setting goals and creating smaller milestones will make measuring your progression and success easier and keep you on track. Keeping in mind what career aspects are essential to you, you can begin to set goals; particularly, you’ll want to set SMART goals.


So what are SMART goals? SMART is an acronym that stands for:


Specific: Make your goal as specific as possible. General goals are vague and won’t offer you any direction.


Measurable: Create goals you can quantify. Set benchmarks and milestones such as growing your network to 3 new people in the industry or completing a certification course by the end of the month.


Attainable: Not all goals are ‘good’ goals. Setting an unachievable goal will discourage you so much you might want to give up. Think about the individual steps needed to reach your goal and how realistic they are.


Relevant: Every goal you set needs to contribute to the bigger picture: your dream job. Consider how your goal will help you reach your long-term goals and be relevant to your overall professional development.


Time-based: Set deadlines. Setting a specific time frame will boost your motivation and commitment to the goal. Write down your deadlines or share them with a friend or family member to stay accountable.


SMART goals are just one of the many methods used for goal setting. Review our Ultimate Goal Guide and find the best method for you!


  1. Meet with a recruitment agency 

Suppose you’re interested in a particular industry but aren’t sure which job you specifically want to do or understand how to get started. In that case, you can never go wrong getting in touch with a specialized recruitment agency. Live Assets specializes in information technology and aids candidates in finding and preparing for a variety of IT positions at all professional levels. Working with a recruitment agency can get you started in those lateral and sequential positions and even help you find your dream job.



  1. Develop action plan

With all your extensive research and information, decide on the career path you want to take. Using your compiled information, plan out each step using your SMART goals. Have this plan written out somewhere in whatever medium best suits you, whether that’s on paper or your computer. Keep it easily accessible to review it and keep yourself in check.


Your career plan isn’t set in stone, and our paths won’t always be linear. There will be times you might feel like you are moving three steps forward, and sometimes it might seem like you’ve gone five steps back. Along the way, your interests can change, or you have to overcome unexpected obstacles. As you grow in your career, keep checking in and remember it’s okay to readjust your plans as needed.



The Best IT Recruitment Agency in GTA | About Live Assets | IT Staffing Solutions

Live Assets is a boutique IT Staffing/Recruiting firm specializing exclusively in building IT teams of excellence for the Information Technology sector.

We are a small, but productive team that works closely together and has had a 96% success rate for the past number of years!

We have a diverse number of clients and industries and focus on both full-time and contract I.T. opportunities.

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