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Career Planning

Top Ten Tips for Career Planning

Follow these top ten tips for career planning and land in the field that's right for you.

Michael Pugh

March 11, 2009

Top Ten Tips for Career Planning

Take a variety of different classes. Don't pigeonhole yourself into one tight line of study. Branch out and take a good look around to see what interests you.

Complete a few self-assessment tests. Self-assessment tests can tell you a lot about yourself and may help you match your skills and interests with possible careers.

Develop a career inventory. What kind of organization do you want to work for? What type of environment do you prefer? How much travel do you want to do? What kind of work schedule do you prefer? Think it through on your own, or take a career and interest assessment to get your answers.

Research different careers. Browse the Bureau of Labor Statistics home page for detailed descriptions of different careers and statistics about the fastest growing fields.

Use your college's career center. Research materials, useful lectures, alumni contacts, self-assessment tests, interview workshops and the latest resume and career development software await you.

Do some volunteer work Explore possible career tracks and build a strong networking base through volunteer activities. Volunteering teaches you about yourself and your world while preparing you for the future and connecting you to your community.

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Join a professional association. Joining a professional association in your field of choice is a great way to tap into a career network. FastWeb's index of professional organizations can connect you to many associations.

Network. Meeting people who work in your prospective field can give you valuable insight into what life is like in that career. Gather information by gathering contacts.

Find a mentor. Part coach, part motivator, the mentor works as a guide from within the context of the work environment. The perfect mentor is someone who works well with you and who has the experience and success you seek.

Arrange some informational interviews. There's no better way to get a feel for a certain career than talking to professionals in the field. Find them through your college's career center, your school's alumni association, job fairs and professional organizations.

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