Career Services: A strategic career plan can set you apart
By Aysha Bell
GCU Career Services
The development of a strategic career plan is an important part of finding a job within your chosen field. Many job seekers will complete their education and begin applying for open positions without careful thought, consideration or planning. As a result, they do not secure the most ideal position. A strategic career plan outlines the steps you could take to transition into a desired profession. Taking the time to think strategically about your career goals increases the likelihood of success.
Here are suggestions on forming a career plan:
- Consider which career could be the most ideal fit. Conduct research by taking career assessments. GCU offers a great assessment tool called the Career Compass which is free and available here. Ask trusted family, friends, instructors and mentors for input. Review previous high school and college coursework to identify prior success (defined as enjoyment and skill), which may provide hints toward potential careers.
- Investigate career-specific student and professional associations to gain more industry knowledge and experience
- Participate in job shadowing opportunities to learn more about the fields suggested during career assessments and conversations with trusted individuals
- Volunteer for or otherwise get involved in community events similar to the desired career fields
- Reach out to individuals already working in the desired profession and schedule a meeting to learn more about the individual’s position and/or company
- Secure internship opportunities or part-time positions to gain industry experience
- Re-evaluate the career path to determine continued interest. Once further interest has been determined, create documents based on the field of interest such as a resumé, cover letter and reference list.
- Finally, prepare for the interview process by studying how to answer questions appropriately and conduct mock interviews as needed. Feel free to make an appointment with Career Services to practice your interview techniques.
GCU Career Services is here for you. Stop by the office in Camelback Hall or call 602-639-6606 to connect. Or visit www.gcu.edu/careerservices to utilize any of our online tools to identify your career path, build your resumé, research career options or apply to current job postings.