Career Planning-Factors You Must Consider

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When it comes to planning for a new career, it's important to not only look at the present, but also the past. Who you were ten years ago may not be who you are today. A lot may have changed when you compare your present with your past. But there are things from your past that may overlap with your present life. Such things include your strengths, personality, experience and education.

It's also important to take an honest look at any personal flaws or weaknesses you have that could be holding you back in life. Doing so will help you gain a better perspective when it comes to where to go from here when it comes to your job and / or career.

Here are a few ideas when it comes to things to look at when it comes to the "internal factors" of your life and your career.

Internal Factors:

Strengths-Positive aspects that are under your control that you may be able to capitalize on when it comes to planning for a new career.

These include:

* Work Experience
* Education, including value-added features
* Strong technical knowledge within your field (e.g. hardware, software, programming languages)
* Specific transferable skills (e.g., communication, teamwork, leadership skills)
* Personal characteristics (e.g., strong work ethic, self-discipline, ability to work under pressure, creativity, optimism, or a high level of energy)
* Good contacts/successful networking
* Interaction with professional organizations

Weaknesses-Negative aspects that are under your control that you may need to improve upon when it comes to planning for a new career.

These include:

- Lack of Work Experience
- Low GPA, wrong major
- Lack of goals, lack of self-knowledge, lack of specific job knowledge
- Weak technical knowledge
- Weak skills (leadership, interpersonal, communication, teamwork)
- Weak job-hunting skills
- Negative personal characteristics (e.g., poor work ethic, lack of discipline, lack of motivation, indecisiveness, shyness, too emotional)

Explore your own self-perception of your strengths, but also put yourself inside a prospective employer's head as you consider your strong points. Avoid false modesty, but also be brutally honest and realistic with yourself.

In assessing your weaknesses, think about what prospective employers might consider to be the areas you could improve upon. Facing your frailties now can give you a huge head start in career planning.

By taking time to assess the various positive and negative internal factors in your life, you can gain a clearer perspective of where to go from here. You can take this information and use it as a road map that can help you take advantage of opportunities and avoid or lessen certain challenges you may face as you start the journey down your new career path.

About the Author:

Copyright (c) 2010 Catherine Trebble. All Rights Reserved. Changing careers can be just the boost you're looking for. It can also be a scary proposition, especially when you are a woman. The pressures and obligations we are under can make this a difficult challenge. Don't let these obstacles stop you from finding the job you love. Discover everything you need to know about changing careers at

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