You’ve spent years in school and now it’s time for your career planning to start heading in the right direction. Whether you are just beginning to map out your future or already feeling stuck in your current role, a career can be one of the most challenging periods of our lives. 
However, with a little bit of strategic thinking and some patience, things always look better on the other side. So how do you successfully plan your career? How do you identify your interests and passions so that you can tailor your professional pursuits accordingly? And most importantly, how do you avoid falling into a rut and staying there? 
There are several steps you can take to make sure you stay on the path to success, or completely change your career so you are happier and more efficient. 

Take Note of Your Skills and Interests

Before anything else, you should take a look at all of your skills and interests. This will help you identify your core competencies, which are important for each career path. Once you know your skills, you can assess whether you are an apt candidate for a certain role or position.
The next step is to determine what kind of person you would like to be in your next career. This could be anything from a specific persona, to a certain skill set. This will help you determine what you are looking for in a career. It might also help you identify your interests and passions, so you can connect them to the skills you want to develop in a career.
For example, if you find yourself to be compassionate, empathetic, patient and have strong communication, leadership, and time management skills with a desire to help people, becoming a nurse may be the job for you. 
On another note, if you find yourself to be very analytical, thorough with details, creative, and love to build different things, becoming an architect may be for you. Every person is different and would excel at a multitude of different career paths depending on what skills they would like to highlight within themselves. 

Define Your Career Goals

Now that you have a better idea of what kind of person you would like to be, it’s time to look at your career goals. That’s right, we are going to define what “success” looks like in your career. We may not always be happy with our work, but we can usually appreciate the need to make a living wage. 
Success in your career will depend on a variety of factors. The more specific you are, the better your chances of success. There are many ways to define your career goals, you could use a career road map or journal what you would like to see in your career.
For example, if you want to become a nurse, a long term goal could be to eventually obtain your DNP, or Doctor of Nursing Practice to climb up the ladder. 

Ask Yourself Why You Want to Change Careers

There is a difference between wanting to change careers, and why you want to change careers. Let’s tackle the former first. Why do you want to change careers? Before you get too excited about that idea, a few questions may help you separate the genuine desire from the “Oh, I want an exciting resume change”. 
When was the last time you had a meaningful conversation with your family about your career? When was the last time you asked yourself these questions? We often get so wrapped up in our career planning that we forget to include ourselves. 
When you remember to be curious and open yourself up to the possibilities of changing, you will find that there are many ways to be successful in any career.

Decide on a Preferred Career Path

Now that you have a clear picture of who you want to become, you can decide on a preferred career path. You could do this casually, or you could make it a serious effort. Remember, you don’t necessarily have to choose one path and stay with it for the rest of your life. 
You may want to move back and forth between different career paths for a while before you find the one that is right for you. There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to your preferred career path. What matters is that you are choosing something that you genuinely want to do. 
When you are clear on your interests and skills, finding a career path that is a good fit can be easier than you think. You can always change careers but add to your resume while obtaining experience in different, or the same fields.

Create a Solidified Resume

With career planning comes creating a rock-solid resume. A great resume will highlight your skills and experience to help land you the career you want. You can even hire a resume writer with an advanced resume writer certification to make sure your resume looks the best!

Stay Updated with Current Events and Trends

You may have heard it before, but it bears repeating: stay updated with current events and trends. This will help you be more informed about the latest career trends and events. You can also research company news, reviews, and social media presence to get a better idea of the company culture and work environment. 
You can also subscribe to career journals, blogs and feeds to stay up-to-date with the latest career planning information. There are also career exploration tools that can help you visualize your desired career paths and identify potential career paths.


No one knows what your future holds, but with a little bit of planning, you can make a great plan for success. The earlier you identify your skills and interests, the better. Once you know what kind of person you want to be, you can start choosing a preferred career path. You can also stay updated with current events and trends so that you can be informed and make informed career decisions.


Daria Brown