What is career planning and what is its purpose?
We are not alone on the labour market. In addition to us, more and more experienced, talented and educated people are competing for jobs. This is why it is prudent to start planning own career paths early enough to ensure appropriate employment.
There are many definitions of the term career in the literature. Daniela Brečko, PhD stresses in her book Career Planning as a Dialogue Between the Individual and the Organization (Načrtovanje kariere kot dialog med posameznikom in organizacijo) that career is simply “a life path where we no longer differentiate between the professional and the private life”. The author believes that especially with the emergence of new work forms, such as voluntary work and work at home, the definition of career has changed considerably, which leads to us being unable to differentiate between career, career development and life itself.
Career is often a sequence of work and a set of activities that include elements of promotion, self-realization and personal development in a given period. We need to understand that career planning relates primarily to learning about own skills, interests, abilities and values, setting goals and designing of plans to achieve such goals. This is a process where an individual analyses own abilities, skills, values and beliefs and establishes realistic goals.
It is in the interest of the society that young people discover the profession that is in accordance with their interests, abilities and the situation on the labour market and that after completing their education, they get a job as soon as possible. This provides them with own development of potential and professional performance, which is why career planning is recommended already during study.
Career success and the extent of success largely depend on our personal traits, abilities, skills, expertise, values and goal-setting. We do not leave career planning to chance. Take your career path into your hands and start planning. “If an individual does not plan their career, the career will plan them” says Daniela Brečko.
The long-term goal of each student is a successful employment upon graduation. Everyone is looking for employment at least once in their lives. This is a very important life step because it represents taking responsibility for own professional and career development, as well as for material independence and social security. The path to the first employment is even more demanding because it means the first direct contact with the labour market and its laws.
Work experience is an important building block when searching for the first employment. Sometimes, the lack of work experience is the one obstacle that prevents young people to successfully find first employment. However, this is not always the case. Students too often forget that various forms of occasional work or practice in the course of studies are a source of work experience, which can be used to successfully penetrate to the labour market. Today, many educational programmes offer voluntary or mandatory practice to students during their studies and a lot of students decide to perform various occasional work during their studies. These forms of work can be a source of experience, which is why it is important to select working environments that are compatible with your career goals.
Finding first employment often is not easy, which is why career centres, employment consultants from recruitment agencies and other online forms of information help you in your endeavours. The more information you have, the more successful your penetration to the labour market will be.
How to search for employment?
“An effective search for employment requires organization and strategy. In order to successfully pursue employment opportunities, you need certain “work tools”, which are successfully used in the search for employment. It is even more important to define your wishes and interests that you are looking for in work. This way, you will not be mindlessly looking for any job or field of work, but only the job and field of work you see yourself in and where you will be satisfied.”
Search for employment is carried out in different ways and by using various methods. Methods in the search for employment include formal or informal and direct or indirect search. Formal search of employment means that job seekers act in accordance with pre-planned rules and procedures when obtaining information about employment opportunities. The opposite applies to the informal search for employment where job seekers do not use formalized methods and procedures. In the indirect search for employment, you have help from intermediaries, especially from relatives, acquaintances, friends, the media and institutions dealing with the provision of employment information. Direct search for employment means a direct contact of the job seeker with the employer, whether in writing or in person.
A variety of search methods are useful in the search for employment, representing various combinations of search methods described above. These include in particular personal contacts, applications, assistance of employment services, help from recruitment agencies, references, visiting companies or organizations, etc.
It is important for young people to appropriately prepare for the search of first employment. An effective and indispensable tool in the search for employment is a good resume, which reflects work experience, references, education, knowledge and other skills that could interest the employer.
• Brečko D., Načrtovanje kariere kot dialog med organizacijo in posameznikom, PlanetGV, Ljubljana, 2006
• Anja Trčel, Načrtovanje kariere je pomembno, Dnevnik, maj 2010
• Trbanc M., Verša D., Zaposlovanje mladih, v: Politika zaposlovanja, FDV, 2002
• Prvi koraki do zaposlitve- navodila za učinkovito iskanje prve zaposlitve, Zbirka KARIERA, MojeDelo.com, URL: »http://delo.mojedelo.com/delo/prirocniki/pdf/pr10.pdf«