To achieve your career goals, there are three main things you need to do: prepare a career map to obtain your goals, be able to communicate your qualifications, and network in your targeted profession.
- Create a "career map" as you think about your next career move and learn as much as you can. After you have researched specific occupations and decided on your goals, you need to research. Identify credible sources of information for your target profession and identify the academic requirements and experience you will need for the job you want. Research UMUC's career-focused undergraduate and graduate programs. Make a "gap analysis" after you've identified the skills experience and knowledge you already have that you would need for your future career. A gap analysis will help you figure out what you still need to learn and do. Make a plan to close those gaps to ensure you can meet the requirements and expectations of your target profession. If you're changing careers, make sure you plan for a way to gain experience in your new field before you graduate.
- To communicate your qualifications, think of what value you can bring to your profession and be able to prepare a resume that can capture an employer's attention in 30 seconds or less. Be able to give a one-minute "elevator pitch" about yourself. If appropriate, develop a portfolio of your work and be prepared to articulate your value in a job interview.
- Network with others in your chosen field. This is the most important factor in any job search or career change. Have a robust LinkedIn profile or other professional profile. Conduct informational interviews with people who have the kind of job you want. Identify people and professional associations that might help you to broaden your professional knowledge. Get a mentor, someone who's been through the kind of experience you're going through, to help you with your journey. You can access UMUC's mentor program by logging onto CareerQuest and selecting "Get a Mentor" from the left menu bar.
These articles from external websites offer more ways to plan your career.