We need now to develop for ourselves a program of how we might want our career to develop. Depending on where we are on The Pathway to Excellence, this may appear straightforward or it may be a mystery that is yet to be solved. It is fanciful to imagine that we might be able to plot every step our career will take. Nonetheless, with the advice of careers counsellors, friends and family, and our mentors, we can begin to identify what we enjoy and what we're good at. From this, we can explore the best options for education and work in fields that may, in time, become the fulfilment of a sense of calling. If this seems too much, the very least we can do is eliminate those options that simply do not appeal. It does not really matter whether or not we are proved correct by the passage of years. What matters right now is that we know where we need to get to next, the competencies we need to acquire to help us get there, the education and experience that can provide these, and the meaningful work we can do in the meantime. We need to review this plan on a regular basis to calibrate it against the way our life is progressing.
After this point, we are freed from indecision. We just need to get started. Once we have begun, how do we stay on track? On our journey, we are likely to face many challenges to which we don’t have immediate or perfect answers. What will we do if we lose our job? What will we do if we don't like our job? What we will do if we cannot find a job at all? In these moments, returning to our original process, our original plan and our original intentions will help to realign us our aspirations and shine light on what might come next. Accepting that there are things we cannot control, and being willing to adapt and revise our focuses as we continue is the final task in our program. This does not mean we should not plan our career. It means that we should always be planning, and always be considering what is important to us within our career, and how we are going to achieve it.
We can contemplate our Career Development Program by considering the following questions:
- Do I know how to research and investigate options and possibilities for my desired career pathway and for the design for my educational and career development?
- Do I know how make use of professional career services in designing my educational and career pathway?
- Does my course and program choices ensure that I will accumulate appropriate qualifications?
- Does my course and program choices make it possible for me to pursue other personally compelling interests that will deepen my sense of purpose and my career objectives?
- Do I map out how my choices of courses, programs and activities build my acquisition of 21C competencies?