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Use this free action plan to determine what job you really want … then go for it!

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Chart an action plan for your job search.
What do you really want to do? 

Do you want to work for someone else, or for yourself? 

Do you like a steady paycheck or relish the idea of making potentially more through commissions? 

Are you seeking leadership roles or happiest in a low pressure position?

Deciding what you really want is your first step toward acquiring your dream career.

Here is an action plan to help you:

1) Identify what you want
2) Learn what careers relate to what you want
3) Determine steps to attain your sought after career
3) Take action to achieve your dream

To download this action plan for free, visit the Resources page.

Identify what you want. Answer the following questions.
1) What are you passionate about?
2) What do you hope to achieve from working?
3) What kind of projects/work do you enjoy? What kind do you dislike?
4) How comfortable are you with bureaucracy … change … difficulties?
5) Do you want to work for someone else or for yourself?
6) Do you prefer a steady paycheck, or earning potentially more in sales?
7) What level of pressure are you comfortable with?
8) What brings you joy in your career – accomplishment … success … a pay check … recognition, work relationships, a healthy work/life balance?
9) What kind of physical work atmosphere do you most enjoy? (Consider location, driving distance, office environment, proximity to shopping/parks, etc.)
10) What kind of boss or coworker situation is best for you?

From your answers above, paraphrase what you really want. This can become you “elevator speech” when someone asks you what type of work you seek. For example, you could write something like …

I am passionate about tree frogs and seek a position where I can communicate about them to interested people so I can help improve tree frogs’ chances of survival. I want to work in a university setting near my home where I am paid a comfortable salary and where I can walk to a park to eat lunch and commune with the frogs.

OK, enough about the frogs … you get my drift. The point is to determine what you want. It sounds simple, but most job seekers don’t think it through and end up taking whatever they can get, which naturally brings dissatisfaction.

Once you have narrowed down what you want to do, determine what types of careers relate to your interests. Visit About.com Career Planning to explore various careers and to find useful resources to help you make a career change. They even include a Should I choose this occupation? quiz to help you determine if a new field is right for you.

Next, determine what strengths you have for the careers you wish to pursue. Such strengths could include your education, past work experience, hobbies/abilities, and/or related volunteer work.

Now, determine what skills and education you must acquire to get the career you want. This may involve going back to school, but it could also involve low or no cost strategies, which I detailed in an earlier blog post.

Once you have determined what you need to do, develop a plan of action to achieve your career goals. Here’s a simple outline to follow.

1. After narrowing my options, I have determined I want to be a:__________.
Example: I want to be a communicator at a corporation.

2. I have the following strengths which qualify me for the position:_________.
Example: I have an associates degree in English. I am good writer and enjoy writing.

3. I must take the following actions to be qualified for the position:_________.

- I must complete my bachelors degree in communications.
- I will write and market a blog to improve my writing skills.
- I will join and participate in LinkedIn groups about corporate communications.
- I will join the local International Association of Business Communicators, etc.

4. Here are the steps I must take to complete each action. Draw a table with the following headers: Action | Concerns | Solutions | Target Dates | Done

Action: Get my bachelors degree in communications
Concerns: I don’t have enough money.
Solutions: I can apply for scholarships, grants, G.I. Bill funding, take night courses, go to an affordable local university and live with my parents, etc.
Target Dates: Apply for college: February 2010. Start college: Summer 2010. Complete degree: June 2012.
Done: (Check off each action as you complete it.)

Last, but not least, learn the hot jobs of the future. You can also learn what will be the most sought after job types on careerplanner.com.

Take action to develop the skills and background you need to become the sought-after person you want to be!

Download this free Career Action Plan on my LinkedIn profile page.

What are your thoughts ? Share your comments via the Contact tab.

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  1. Not always ideal if you can get a much better service for a marginal cost I'd say.


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