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How to plan your professional career in 8 simple steps

When we are in college, one of the concerns is how to plan a professional career. What extracurricular courses to take? And languages, do you need to learn them? How can I organize my future?

These are more than valid questions, as your professional career depends on the actions you take now. With that in mind, we decided to create a small and efficient guide to help you structure your steps from now on.

Keep reading and check it out!

1. Analyze the market

The market changes a lot, but it presents trends that can help you decide on the best area to work in the future.

If you are close to graduating, you can take advantage of the opportunities that will arise in the post-pandemic scenario, where recovery and opening of vacancies is expected.

But if you still have a little bit left for you to earn your degree, nothing prevents you from starting to understand the behavior of the job market.

2. Do a self-assessment and find your purpose

Monitoring the job market can also give you signals about which skills are most in demand . From here until the end of college, you have plenty of time to hone your skills.

For that, how about doing a self-assessment and taking the opportunity to get to know yourself better?

Whether as a student or professional, being aware of your affinities and limitations is fundamental to adjusting your knowledge and defining your path from now on.

The tip here is: find your purpose . You can start doing this by devising a series of questions that will guide your search. We’ll suggest a few, but feel free to expand this list:

  • What are your biggest difficulties in practice and learning?
  • What are your biggest achievements so far?
  • What are the most enjoyable subjects and activities?
  • What would you do differently starting today?

Reflect on these questions to see if you feel you are on the right path or if you need to help your path. Invest in extra courses outside of college that complement your personal curriculum.

3. Define where you want to go

When thinking about planning your professional career, try to visualize all the way you will have to go to get to the positions you want.

See what positions you will need to occupy to reach leadership positions, for example. You can create a roadmap to always keep in view and even modify your intended path.

For all this to work, it is necessary to achieve short, long, and medium-term goals. So, all you need to do is put the goals down on paper (or a spreadsheet) and set deadlines for completing them.

Now that you have a goal, comes the hardest part: figuring out how you’re going to get there.

4. Start nurturing a LinkedIn profile

Everyone knows LinkedIn well and knows that this social network is perfect for establishing connections with professionals in your field or looking for a professional placement. In addition, it is a tool where you can acquire the necessary knowledge and develop new skills, being very useful for planning your career.

In it, you can follow the most up-to-date information on the market, apply for job openings and even be called for interviews. And since you’re still in college, you can take the opportunity to start your career and look for an internship on LinkedIn.

To attract the attention of recruiters, you need to be an active user and have a complete profile on the network, demonstrating all your experiences, participating and proposing debates and researching content related to your area.

5. Count on the help of technology

As we mentioned, it is very important to set deadlines to carry out your actions. But if you just put a date and don’t have a reminder, chances are, the next day, you’ll forget what has to be done.

Thankfully, there are several applications and computer programs that can help you plan and execute everyday tasks without missing deadlines, as they automatically send you reminders. Trello, Pipefy and Asana are some examples.

6. Include rewards for each step or goal accomplished

Our mind is full of traps that lead to procrastination. It’s reward-driven, so it’s very important to celebrate every victory, no matter how small.

Think about things you really like and how to include them in your routine. Take a break and go to the beach, ride a bike, visit friends. Allow yourself to do all this after an intense day of study.

Create a benefit plan and, for each goal you achieve, give yourself something as a gift. And be sure to prioritize the awards, leaving the most precious for the greatest achievements.

7. Review your career plan periodically

Thinking about what your career will be like is very important, as this is the basis for your professional development.

Now, in addition to creating a “plastered” plan, it is worth reviewing your goals and objectives from time to time, looking to assess whether they still make sense. Is your schedule being fulfilled in the desired time? Do I need to add or remove some activities?

Remember that your professional success depends on you. But sometimes managing yourself is more difficult than managing a team. Therefore, for your professional career to succeed, you need an extra dose of patience, discipline and determination.

8. Seek expert support

If, after doing all this, you are still not satisfied or have doubts about the direction of your trajectory as a student and how this will reflect on your professional activity, do not hesitate to look for a specialist.

Career development professionals can guide you. And that goes for people of any age group. Young students must undergo a vocational orientation with a psychologist. The more experienced ones can resort to coaching or mentoring programs.

It doesn’t matter how long it takes or what stage of life you are in, what matters is finding your vocation and being happy doing what you love!


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