Planning framework and career tools for professionals

No matter the stage of career development or training you are in, choosing a speciality career training programme or profession such as medicine or law requires careful planning and execution. There are planning frameworks that can help in making informed career decisions as well as useful planning career tools that can help to analyse your personal situation, assess or re-assess your present career and determine the best career path to follow.

Career planning framework

For some people choosing a specialist career field to pursue is easy because their personal interests, talents and passions already point them in the direction to follow. However, for some other people making a decision on the specialist career field to take is not that clear. Whichever category you fall, however, having a career planning framework is important because it will help you find the most suited speciality or training program to pursue. Here is a planning framework with basic steps to help you identify the speciality that is right for you.

Step 1. Self-assessment

The first step in determining whether to go into surgery or neurology in medicine, for example, is to engage in an honest self-appraisal. Look within yourself and identify areas that you genuinely love, are skilled in, have a passion for, or that you are comfortable doing. Online tools such as The Windmills online career planning programme can help you assess your skills, interests and influences and show you how these can be used to realise the enormous potential within yourself.

Step 2. Research

The value of conducting comprehensive research on the speciality areas available to you cannot be underscored enough. This step entails exploring other speciality areas that may be of interest to you, looking at what it takes to qualify for those speciality areas, current workforce statistics, growth potential, competition ratios and projections about future opportunities. Bookmarking tools such as Diigo and Xmarks can help you save key facts you uncover with research for reference later.

Step 3. Decision making

Once you understand your talents and capabilities and you know the career options available to you, it is time to start making the important decisions about your career. Integrate all that you have learned during your self-assessment and the facts your research uncovered and use that to decide the best career course to take. Career tools such as Prospects Planner that can be found on Prospects website can help know how to integrate the information at your disposal in the decision making process.


Perhaps the most important step after you have made the decision on the speciality field to follow is to implement your career plan. Identify and enrol in training institutions and seminaries that will help you gain the skills, experience and or portfolio needed to qualify for the speciality you want to pursue. Learn how to write an effective CV to sell your skills and qualification as well as strategies to succeed in assessment centres and interviews. Apply for the job/training programme once you are confident you meet the requirements. This planning framework and career tools can help get you organised and propel you to realise your goals.

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