1 Your career planning process
In Week 1 you were introduced to the four main steps in a career planning process shown in Figure 1. As you probably realise, the course has been following this cycle.
In the early weeks you undertook activities designed to help you to ‘know yourself’ in new ways. This enabled you to decide which opportunities you might want to explore. As you explored opportunities, you were encouraged to make decisions about what might be right for you. All that remains now is to decide what action to take.
Of course, the process does not work as neatly as the diagram suggests. Each time you explore an opportunity you may learn something new about yourself. As you learn more about your abilities, your horizons extend and you may be prepared to consider opportunities that you might previously have dismissed as ‘not for the likes of me’. You may have revised your ideas on what options would be fit for you, and some of your decisions about what kind of work to pursue, or about the working patterns that might suit you, may have changed. See the cycle as a dynamic, interactive set of activities to which you can return, at any stage.
At this stage in the course though, you are asked to focus on two things:
- deciding what you will do
- writing a personal development plan.
First, though, let’s consider what is meant by personal development plans.