Thursday, 21 July 2011


Planning your career is just like planning your life. It cannot be rushed. When so many changes are taking place around you, you need to plan your future, be it from deciding on what to do next to choosing a career. In future, you need to be happy, contented, satisfied and be able to contribute in your chosen vocation. But how can you plan your career if you do not know how to do it? 

Career Planning is a simple skill. An ordinary person changes career 3 – 5 time in his / her lifetime. If you learn these skills, you can use them whenever you want to. There are 4 basic steps in the Career Planning Process.  

Discovering Yourself

Getting to know yourself well requires some honest assessment of yourself, such as knowing your interests, your skills, your hobbies, your occupational likings and your values. Know your own strength and weakness, your likes and dislikes, what you prefer and what you wish to avoid.

Why Discover Yourself?

No one knows you better than yourself. Always remember that you are the world’s foremost authority on yourself. No matter how confused you are and where you are going, no one knows your inner thoughts, hopes, dreams, likes, interest and your reasons for acting or reacting in a manner in a situation. When you look inwardly and search for a career, you are also searching for your true identity. 

Personality & Careers

The 3 highest scores you obtained from the Career Test indicate your personality types. You can Sit for the Career Test if you have not done the Career Test, or simply read the following explanation for the 6 types of personality and choose 3 personality types that best describes you.

You need to explore all the 3 personality types and list down all the careers that interest you. You would need this list when you explore or find out more about careers in later stage.

Labour Market

Getting a job immediately after graduation is great and indeed good news. But this is not the case for everyone. Finding a perfect job in a competitive environment isn’t easy. However, in order to be competitive and outstanding from the rest, getting to know what’s happening in the labour market and its trend is important. You need to keep up to the standards in the labour force and having the qualities and skills sought after by employers is definitely an added advantage. Such qualities are :
  • Communication skills
  • Strong work ethics
  • Teamwork skills
  • Initiative
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Flexibility / adaptability
  • Computer skills
  • Technical skills
When you decide on a career, you need to know the future of the career. You can start with analyzing the labour trend and fast-growing careers. There is a serious problem if the chosen career has no future in terms of employment, where you might end up jobless. Therefore, be wise when you plan and choose a career. In general, the majors that are in demand are :
  • Accounting
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Business Administration / Management
  • Finance / Economics
  • Marketing
  • Management Information Systems
  • Psychology
Percentage Distribution of Employed Persons by Occupations (Q1 – 2007)
  • Service / Sales Workers - 15.7 %
  • Skilled Agricultural / Fishery Workers - 13.1 %
  • Plant and Machine Operators - 13.0 %
  • Technicians and Associate Professionals - 12.8 %
  • Elementary Occupations - 11.3 %
  • Craft and Related Trade Workers - 11.3 %
  • Clerical Workers - 9.6 %
  • Legislators, Senior Officials and Managers - 8.0 %
  • Professionals - 5.2 %
Percentage Distribution of Employed Persons by Industry (Q1 – 2007)
  • Manufacturing – 19.1 %
  • Wholesale, Retail, Repair of Vehicles, Household Goods – 15.6 %
  • Agriculture and forestry – 14.0 %
  • Construction – 9.1 %
  • Hotels and Restaurants – 7.4 %
  • Public Administration and Defense – 6.7 %
  • Real Estate and Business Activity – 5.6 %
  • Education – 5.4 %
  • Transport, Storage and Communications – 5.1 %
  • Private Households – 2.7 %
  • Financial Intermediation – 2.6 %
  • Other Community and Social Services – 2.5 %
  • Health and Social Work – 2.2 %
  • Fishing – 1.1 %
  • Electricity, Gas and Water Supply – 0.6 %
  • Mining and Quarrying – 0.3 %

Decision Making

Having discovered your strengths and weaknesses, you must now move on to make decisions. Making decision for yourself is a very important responsibility. Since it’s your future at stake, it’s you who should be in control. Don’t worry about making a right or wrong decision. Be confident and put yourself in the best hands – your own!

To make a good decision, you need lots of information. The more information you have, the better your decision will be. As you can see, a particular occupation may be quite different from what we think. A person in that occupation may actually do something different from what we think they do. That is why we need to learn all we can about the occupation before we decide on it.  

To help you make the right decision, follow on the 7 steps to Decision Making.  
1.  Identify the decision you need to make (choosing a career, course / institution).
2.  Write a list of all possible options that appeals to you.
3.  Collect all the information about each option.
4.  Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
5.  Choose one option.
6.  Plan how to put the decision into action.
7.  Take necessary action.

What Next?

Every year some leave school knowing what they intend to do next. Some will leave school thinking that they will do what their peers are intending to do. Some will follow their parents, relatives and teachers. However there will be some who would not know what to do. Whether you know what to do or do not know what to do, there are many options available to you. 
What options are there for school leavers?
Career Planning is life planning. The career you choose today will decide the life that you will lead tomorrow.
Whatever you do, do not panic. Do not be disappointed or give-up studying. Learning never ends. Take up a training program or a skill if your results are not satisfying. If your results are average, go for a Diploma program. After obtaining your Diploma, you can still study if you want to. Lastly, if your results are good, obtain the highest qualification that is available to you.

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