Career planning is usually an activity people indulge in when they are in high school or college. But later many just go on from one job to another and rarely think about reviewing their career paths. Whereas, career planning needs to be a regular activity and is a way of setting broader goals and to know what kind of opportunities to look for in future for personal and professional growth. 

If you have never given it a thought, then its time for you to begin and start afresh with these helpful tips:

Learn to measure your progress, if possible once in every six months, in terms of addition in your responsibilities and portfolio and your contacts with high level executives. Take time out to map your career path and reflect on it and ask yourself questions like: Is there anything you could have done differently? Are you satisfied with the way your career is heading? Is there anything you want to pursue in future?

Your original idea or thought of working or being in a certain field will change with changes in your lifestyle and interests. Introspecting on what your interests, likes, desires are at the moment will give you a clear vision of what to do ahead. If your current job and career fulfils your likes and interests then you are on the right track, if not you might want to look at new career options.

Make it a habit to record all your accomplishments however small.  This will not just help you build a strong resume but your past achievements will give you a glimpse of what you are good at and can act as triggers for working, improving, and highlighting such abilities. You will also identify things at work that make you happy and proud.

Examine what you enjoy doing as a hobby or in your free time. You may think that what connection do such things have to do with career planning? But a lot of times what you enjoy doing for fun can become a full-time job. 

Reach out to your mentors and discuss your career with them. Having long-term professional allies and mentors from your industry can help you build your career and grow.

Track the latest trends in your career and job. Check what the growing prospects in your field are and what skills you need to highlight or acquire to stay in demand. Having information about career trends is important for planning a long-term professional success.

Make career planning an annual affair. Career planning can give you a sense of direction and will help you prepare in advance for difficulties or uncertainties that may appear in your job or career.

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