- Plan your career
- Discover who I am
- Learn about your personality, interests, values, skills, and abilities; start to define your career goals; and begin to shortlist your options
- Explore my options
- Learn how to conduct occupational research, options for studying and working, and trends in the world of work
- Choose my direction
- Learn how to evaluate your options, make a decision, and take action
- Achieve my goals
- Learn how to define and reach your goals through goal setting exercises, work and volunteer opportunities, extracurricular involvement, networking, and professional development activities.
- Join the workforce
- Learn how to write a resume, develop your interview skills, network like a pro, and find the hidden (and not-so-hidden) job market
- Continue to develop
- Learn about re-careering, relocating, leaving a job, losing a job, and professional development
- Home page
- Go to the Plan My Career home page
Choose my directionChoosing a direction in your career is a personal and individual journey. Choose My Direction is meant to assist you in clarifying your direction and formulating your goals. To benefit the most from this section you should be at the point where you have narrowed your career focus to a hand full of options. If this is not the case, you may want to return to Discover who I am to begin generating ideas or take a look at Explore my options to research different career avenues.
Evaluating Your Research
- Do these findings make sense to me?
- Are they accurate?
- What are some common patterns?
- What jumps out?
- What is missing?
- Do I need to do further research?
If you feel comfortable with the information that you have gathered through self-reflection and occupational research, you are likely at a good place to make an informed decision. If you are having second thoughts, you may need to do some more soul searching in Discover who I am or seek out additional information in Explore my options. Alternatively, you may simply be encountering obstacles in your career decision-making and need some additional assistance.
Making a Decision
Everyone approaches decisions differently, and each important life decision requires different considerations. For some people the choice is obvious; for others, it can be a stressful process. According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®), individuals use different approaches to decision making. Some base their decisions on impressions and “gut” reactions; others are more analytical and take a logical approach. Our Making a Decision (PDF) guide can help you try out both approaches.
When making any major decision, it is not unusual for people to encounter road blocks or unexpected challenges. Our personal and professional lives are so interconnected that difficulties in one area can significantly influence the other. When making a career choice, personal issues may make it difficult to make a decision that really reflects who we are and what is important to us in our career. Common struggles when life factors are interfering include:
- You feel like nothing appeals or you have no clearer sense of direction
- You are experiencing pressure to make a decision now or to pursue a specific career direction
- You are feeling too overwhelmed, worried, or anxious to make a career choice
- You are feeling confused and are having difficulty making a decision
- You have other challenges in your life that are taking up most of your energy
If any of these factors apply, or if you just feel that you need to talk to someone before you can make a good decision, you may benefit from additional assistance. Meeting with a career coach or personal counsellor may help you sort out the issues that are making career decision-making difficult for you at this time.
Plan B: Creating a Back-up Plan
- Develop Plan A and Plan B simultaneously
- Create a list of objectives/goals that you want to achieve
- Make sure that your goals are realistic
- Continually explore your options
- Keep your eyes open for opportunities
- Be open for changes, expect uncertainty
- Focus on your next step
- Build a network
In today’s uncertain world, developing your Plan B is not an option, it is a necessity. If your Plan A is eliminated or you feel that it is no longer leading you in the direction of your life goals, you need to activate your Plan B. Plan B is your detour or another route that will help you to reach your destination (your goal). Therefore, if you are prepared in advance, you will not get lost.
Having an alternative road (Plan B):
- Keeps you from getting “boxed” in
- Strengthens your present position (Plan A)
- Prevents you from going in the wrong direction, or in no direction at all
- Energizes you to keep up with the changes
- Protects from the “winds of change”
- Elevates your self-esteem
- Improves your attitude
The importance of Plan B is not only about increasing your chances of reaching your goals, it’s about helping you to be flexible and giving you a sense of personal security. It is as simple as this:” If you are failing to plan, you are planning to fail”. If you are struggling to identify your Plan B, this may be a great time to meet with a career coach.
Building a successful career is similar to setting off on an extended road trip. You need to have an end in mind, even if it is something as general as riding off into the sunset! Developing a career strategy will help you align your accomplishments with your aspirations and goals to map out a career path. Career strategizing is not about strict guidelines. There is always room for shifts, balances, side-exits and grand entrances. There is value in both the positive and negative experiences you have along the way because they will help you gain further clarity and focus.