It's certainly not unusual nowadays for people to have three or four careers over their working life, but you've got to start somewhere with this planning thing, right? Career planning involves being more conscious and deliberate about our decisions. Want to get going but not sure where to start? One model that works well involves five key questions.
1. Where am I right now?
Step back and look at your current situation - where you live, what you are currently doing/not doing, what you'd like to do, where you'd like to be, etc.
2. What do I need to know?
Explore your options - think about your needs, wants, skills, abilities and the things you enjoy doing; get out and talk to people who can help you with this. A great start would be contacting one of the YES employers! That coffee date to chat about their industry and your career journey options could open up possibilities that may just change your life!
3. What are my best choices?
Evaluate each possibility from your research at step 2 and choose the option that's best for you! Ask yourself which excites you the most and what you think you're most interested in exploring.
4. What do I need to do?
Plan how you will carry out your decision - what skills do I need to learn, what training or course do I need, where could I get some work experience.
5. What action will I take?
Make up your mind and DO IT.
A fantastic step-by-step career planning resource can be found here: http://alis.alberta.ca/pdf/cshop/careerplanner.pdf.
Once you have a plan, use it to help you stay on track. Continue to focus on your goals, and measure your progress but be open to new possibilities too - sometimes when you're busy planning for one thing, something better comes along. You never know what's around the corner so be flexible and willing to take a chance!