Career Planning is often offered as a class in high school. Sometimes in college. I wonder how many people end up in the careers they originally thought they would follow. I certainly didn’t.
In high school I told my friends I was going to major in animal husbandry. I would raise and train animals. One year into college and that major had been dropped. I was now going to be an artist. I sort of followed that when I became an art teacher, yet something didn’t feel quite right. It took me 8 years of teaching before I realized, as much as I enjoyed teaching others, I didn’t like the limits and structure of the high school education system. But what to do?
One of the rules/suggestions when planning a career is to do what you enjoy. Well, I enjoyed reading, and I enjoyed writing. Duh, maybe I should try writing.
Actually, I didn’t think of writing as a career when I started. Back then all I wanted was to write one book and have it published. That, I thought, would make me happy. But, of course, once that book was published, I wanted more: more books published and some sort of recognition of my writing. So I entered contests. Made the finals in a few and won a few.
Then I wanted to try different types of writing, different publishers. A new genre.
I don’t recommend my career path to anyone. I will say I have had goals—short term and long—but I’ve never truly made any of my changes due to long-range planning. I think I’ve probably missed some opportunities due to a lack of planning, and I won’t reach some of my pipe dreams because I haven’t thought out the steps necessary to reach those levels.
Today I’m writing about this blog because I believe I’m at another stage in my career. I’m thinking of self-publishing a book. I’m not sure this is the right move to make, but I’ve heard other writers talk about their successes with self-publishing, so it’s tempting. (I’m sure there are as many equally dismal stories, but the idea of being in complete control of a book sounds good. If I fail, it will be on my shoulders.)
Of course I hope I don’t fail, so I’ve been looking on-line for information. One site I discovered was a 4-step plan for changing careers. That site suggests that no matter what stage of life you’re in (student through adulthood) if you’re going to make a career change, you need to think about four things: understanding your interests and capabilities; finding out what’s involved with this new career; deciding whether or not you really want or should make this change; and finally, taking action.
For the full article, go to:
Another good article is one written by Kathy Caprino that appeared in Forbes magazine back in October 2013. Her article is mainly directed toward women in business, but I think it could be applied to anyone. She suggests 5 steps, but the gist is pretty much the same as the other article: first you need to understand yourself, what you’re willing to do, and then you need to let go of the thinking that’s holding you back. She also suggests exploring the new career, researching it and talking to others. Finally, she states, you need to do the work that’s necessary to succeed.
To read the full article, go to:
Both articles offer good advice, so I’m off to do a little exploring.