If you intend to start with your next career, why not sit down and work out a career blueprint first? A career blueprint is a plan where you plan to be in the future. It should also be a guide to assist you to make career search decisions at different stage of your life.
Our aspirations and view towards life change at different stage of our career lives. When we first graduated from college, we may look for a job that allows us to learn new things. As we proceed in our career and in life, the remuneration and the exposure would probably be the main search priority. This priority may change when we reach mid-life and it will also be different as we enter into our retirement stage. We also look for different goals out of our career when we face crisis in our lives.
A career blueprint is especially useful when we start with our career search. It is also extremely useful to help us make career change decisions later on in our lives as we develop our career. In a nutshell, a career blueprint should be the guide to help us to proceed with our career lives.
Identifying your career goals
The first step in creating a career blueprint is to understand what are your likes, dislikes and what would be fun for you. Think of your previous job. What do you like and what do you dislike about your previous job? Make a list for several segments. These segments can include:
Employer; Industry; Nature of Work; Office political environment; Size of company; Salary
Think about each of the category carefully. We suggest that you work on what you dislike first. This way, you are able to identify better what you really like.
What you dislike about your job
This list may look something like this
Disliked about boss: – Always micro-manage details; Over-critical; Do not motivate staff; Treat staff as slaves instead of colleagues
Disliked about the industry: – Too contractual; Over-focus on production rather than on quality; Low level of ethics; Hazardous
What You Like About Your Job
Based on the list of what you don’t like, develop your clarity list – what you would like to have about your job. Note that your clarity list is “must-have” list. Your clarity list may look like this:
What I like to have about my future boss: – Allow me to manage my own work; Encouraging; Always motivate staff; Treat staff as colleagues
What I like to have about my work industry: – Not contractual; Focus on quality of works; Ethical; Not hazardous
There is another list which you need to generate. It is called the “Career Fun List”. While this list is not a definite must-have, it will be fantastic to have it. Your career fun list may look something like this:
Boss – Like to hang out with us; Occasionally treat us to sumptuous dinner; Like to be called by his first name
Industry – Provide on the job training to visit other factories; Respected by the public
Job Nature – Flexible working hours; Opportunities to travel overseas
After you have created the above three lists, study each segments carefully. Study the patterns of your previous jobs that make you happy or unhappy. This is a soul-searching exercise and adequate time should be given to ponder over each item on list in details.