How Students Can Plan Their Career

Choosing a career can be hard. The more resources you provide to help your students plan for their careers, the happier they will be post-graduation.

Some things in life are just better with a plan — and a career is definitely one of those things. Think about it like a dinner party: When you wait until the last minute to shop and cook, you become stressed and unhappy. But when you plan the meal ahead, building in time for shopping and preparing, the experience is rewarding and enjoyable. It’s the same, though with much higher stakes, with a career. Planning leads to better results.

What is student career planning?

For students, career planning is an intentional, and evolving practice. Its purpose is to illuminate the path toward a desired career, accounting for changes of mind and heart along the way. Career planning should be a fluid process, with room for ideas and goals to shift, but it is also concrete  in that the ultimate point remains fixed at helping the student be successful in their desired career. 

There are many components to a student career plan. Some, such as the college and career readiness standards, may already be integrated into a school’s curriculum and will therefore ensure necessary progress in areas like math and English. Student career planning requires a focus on career readiness, and mastering the five most important career readiness skills.

How can students plan their career?

There are lots of things students can do at home to get started on their career plans. Tools like Naviance offer a range of career readiness solutions and can make the process of planning a career fun and exciting. Students can also get out a pen and paper and start their plan by writing down their ideas, hopes, and dreams for their future, and then begin researching the kinds of jobs, salaries, and work schedules that would support those goals. Another way to get started is to identify a hero or person with an amazing job, and then find out about the path that person took to get there.

Career exploration activities can be done at home or in the classroom, and they should be a part of every student’s career planning process. By doing these, students develop a deep understanding of what careers they like, why they like them, and how they can one day be successful in them. 

Finally, career assessments are critical. When combined, career readiness, career exploration activities, and career assessments form the foundation of a strong career plan — and together help light the way forward to success.

Topics Career Readiness

College & Career Readiness

Prepare students for college, career, and life with a research-backed readiness framework and comprehensive toolset. Create connections between their strengths and interests to success after high school.

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