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10 steps to plan your career roadmap

Career planning is like looking ahead at a road map. There are specific stops to make along the way before you get to your final destination.

Reading is only one step in the career plan
Photo by Mike Zarrilli
  1. Pick a career industry. Stay broad.
  2. Choose a specific job in the industry to focus your goals.
  3. Research the job and the industry: employment trends, salary, benefits, hours, skills needed, education, experience required, work environment
  4. Visit by shadowing a job site for a day.
  5. Connect. Find a mentor currently in the profession you seek. Speak to the Human Resource department of a company in the industry
  6. Get smarter. Pursue education or professional development training. Gain experience in the field by interning or volunteering.
  7. Prepare. Create a resume/cover letter and have it reviewed by your mentor, your college's career center, your professors.
  8. Be patient. Allow 6-7 months to network. In the meantime, create a brand or portfolio to make yourself more marketable. To maintain an income, work part-time or full-time by doing consulting or freelance work. A stable part-time job is great because it allows you the chance to earn money and experience while still allowing you the time to search for a position that is better suited to your skills and education.
  9. Get hired. Be sure when you receive your job offer you negotiate salary, telecommuting, benefits, and hours.
  10. Advance. Look for opportunities to grow as a leader, to improve your professionalism, and to be in charge of project management.
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