Guiding Career + Life Transition

Career Planning Process: How to Get from Here to Where You Want to Be

By in Career Blog

Career planning is a process of discovering who you are and what is most important to you in your life and work.

It is also about understanding the world of work and finding economic opportunities to meet your needs, wants and dreams.

Ultimately, it involves creating a plan and then taking action to succeed in bringing the best of yourself to the work that you do.

Career Planning Process Graphic3

You can Discover, by asking:

  • What are my talents, passions, and strengths?
  • In what ways do my personality, interests, values and skills combine to make me, unique?
  • What do I need and want in my life and work?
  • Where can I find my best “fit” in the world of work?

You can Create, by formulating :

  • Vision and Goals for your life and work
  • A Value Proposition to articulate your unique combination of personality, skills, interests, experiences and talents…giving you an opportunity to stand out and have an advantage in the marketplace.
  • A Plan for moving step by step towards your goals and dreams.
  • And, building a community and networks of support for your dreams and goals.

You can Succeed, by developing:

  • Professional Effectiveness – skills, knowledge, attitudes to pro-actively direct and manage your career.
  • Marketing Collateral – resumes, portfolios, CVs, cover letters, that describe who you are, what you have to offer and where you want to be.
  • Strengths Based Strategies to overcome and move beyond your obstacles towards the realization of your goals and dreams.


These steps can be revisited at different stages of your life, reviewed and revised – it is about taking the time and making the space to to understand oneself and to pro-actively discover, create and succeed at your right livelihood.

When you are feeling stuck, when you know in your heart and mind that there is more meaningful work ahead, you can utilize the career planning process to map the journey forward.

Each step along the path offers the opportunity to learn about self, the world and how to discover your strengths in order to build a successful and fulfilling life and work.

The career exploration process offers enhanced awareness that informs personal/professional alignment between who you are and what you do.



Posted by: Susan Jewkes Allen, MSW, GCDF

San Francisco Bay Area Career Counselor, Career Coach at Life + Work