Career Plan

The self assessment stage of the career management plan is required to find out:

  • Who you are
  • What you want from life and work
  • What your strengths and weaknesses are and how to overcome the weak points and use the strong points to your advantage
  • How your strong points can be used to the good of the company and society
  • What values you adhere to and are comfortable with
  • What job you really want and fit
  • What your role in society and the workplace is.

Make use of self assessment tests and tools available on the Internet to help you in this process. Also speak to colleagues, fellow students, family members and friends to find out how they perceive you. Oftentimes we overlook our strengths and weaknesses, but other people are able to identify them as well as help in the identification of what we are good at. Once you know who you are, what your role is, and how you function, you are ready for the next step.

Developing the marketing tools

Develop, update and continually revise the following tools for effective job hunting, promotion and job changes in your life.

  • Write a one to two pages job search and career management plan
  • One to three page reverse chronological resume that can easily be added on with the latest skills and experience . Use it as your base that can be changed into a combination, functional or targeted CV.
  • Cover letters for job enquiries, replies to advertisements and follow up after interviews. The cover letters should be written for every job you apply for. Don't make use of a generic letter. You can use samples as found at CVtips.com, but always adapt the letter to your specific situation.
  • Network plan that includes the names and contact details of everyone you know, meet and plan to meet. Places where you have met specific people, what they do for a living and notes about them should also be recorded. Also write down what you do in three sentences. Obtain a networking card to hand out and keep record of birthdays etc. to stay in contact.
  • Develop a reference list and obtain letters of recommendation where you can. Update the list on a regular basis and remember to stay in contact with the people on the list. Never give up someone's name as reference if you don't have their consent.

Marketing and employment research

  • Find out if you are speaking to the right people and with who you should get in contact with. Do some research about the companies in your interest field and find out if someone you know can help you to get an informative meeting.
  • Remember that two thirds of all jobs are not advertised in the media so you need to build a huge network of contacts and let them know that you are looking for a job in the specific job field.
  • Also target the formally advertised job market by replying on ads in the media and on the Internet and submitting your CV at recruitment agencies.

Selecting the right job

At this stage you most probably have more than job leads and have a few scheduled interviews . Succeeding in the interviews will help you to make a better choice. Rather than settling for the first job that comes along because you fail the interviews, proper preparation can help you to obtain excellent job offers . Follow these pointers to help you get the right job the first time around.

  • Prepare for each job interview through research on the company, its products, services, culture, hiring policy, job requirements, promotion possibilities, goals and mission. Also conduct mock interviews and prepare answers on possible questions. Dress for success and be on time.
  • Follow up on every interview through thank you notes, phone calls and regular contact.
  • When the job offers come in, compare the benefits and disadvantages of each one against your values, goals, needs and dreams before you make a decision. Select the best one according to your criteria in your career management plan and go all out to make the best of your work life.