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The Career Planning System

Career Plan

In 2018, I found a simple but powerful system to help fulfill our mission here on The Career Guide Project. It is the Five Processes of Career Planning model developed by Dr. Kris Magnusson. These processes are Initiation, Exploration, Decision Making, Preparation, and Implementation. They may sound complex at first but they are actually relatable, straightforward steps. To explain, let’s go over each of them from the perspective of someone looking for guidance regarding his career. I will use myself as an example. (There’s a link to a tool built on this system at the end of this post.)

1. Initiation

Here I have the opportunity to discover myself, questions to ask include:

  • Who am I?
  • What are my interests, characteristics, strengths?
  • Ah, what do I value in life?
  • And what do I want from work, a job, or a career? (By the way, a job is different from a career – a job is some work you do for money often on a temporary or short-term basis; a career is an occupation you sign up for over the long-term. Read an interesting explanation of these terms here.)

The outcomes from this step will help me understand myself and my motivations better.

2. Exploration

I am beginning to have a fair idea of myself and aspirations (what I want from life). It’s time for me to find out information about the work or career options out there. There are three basic ways I can do this:

  1. Talk to professionals in different fields
  2. See if I can get to experience some types of work
  3. Access information tools about various careers

3. Decision Making

Of course, I may not be ready for this until maybe I need to select a course to study at the university or polytechnic or if I’m a graduate who needs to choose a career. For the sake of our flow let us continue.

Here in this stage I then narrow down my career options to my preferred one or ones. My choice(s) here could be temporary as I may discover better options sometime in the near future. The important thing is to make a decision based on the results of my exploration. For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume I think I can do well as an astronaut (the first real Nigerian astronaut).

4. Preparation

Now that I know what I want, I need to create a plan to achieve my goal of becoming an astronaut. This plan is to help me determine how to prepare well to achieve my goal. The plan will include:

  • A list of the skills I need to have e.g., mathematical ability, athletic skills
  • The type of education or training I need (school in Nigeria or the US)
  • How to study better, etc.
  • Funds required (money available or can I get a scholarship?)

5. Implementation

In this final process, I begin to act on my plan.

That’s it. All of the resources on this website will align with these career planning processes. I am personally interested in this system and will be working with it in my career progress, too.
I have adapted the model to create My Career Planner, a tool to help you identify and select your career options based on your interests and their real life prospects.

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