Planning Ahead

Posted by Judy Anne Cavey on Nov 22, 2010 in , , | 1 Comment

Long-Term Career Goals

You’ve worked for good grades in school, joined the Work Experience Program, and have a job. Or perhaps you have focused in on a major and plan to follow that path into a university for your Masters Degree. Maybe you plan to work full-time after you graduate with your two year degree.

Whatever the situation, have you thought much about your long-term career goals? For instance; will the field you’ve chosen be a lucrative one, thriving 5 or 10 years from now? These are important questions that need to be answered. Don’t rely on chance–map out your career future so you know just where you’re headed–planning ahead brings success.

“Forecasting is hard, especially if it’s about your future.” -Yogi Berra

Growing Industries

There is much to be said for planning ahead and to do that, you need good information. The OOH (“Occupational Outlook Handbook”) is one of the best resources for making decisions. It can be found online or at the library. You can look up your jobs of choice in the handbook, see salary range, training and schooling necessary, and long-term projections. Pay close attention to the last section. These projections, based on many factors, will list industries slated for growth–that equals to jobs. Keep in mind, there are many variables which affect these projections.

Here are some figures: 2006-2016 shows Education and Health Services will see an increase of over 5 million jobs. Professional and Business Services will see an increase of over 4 million jobs. Even though these are pre-recession projections, you can then go to and to see what the recovery plan holds for various industries.

Notice under “Education” the president has plans to funnel a great deal of effort and money into that sector which could mean a spike in job opportunities. On the other hand, if you plan to work in the Auto Industry, the future might look bleak (unless you are a mechanic). Does this mean giving up your dreams to design cars? No, because this sector is earmarked for large growth in the near future. In California, the former governor had pressed for more “clean running” vehicles, so too has the president, who plans for research and development of alternatives to gas powered cars. Again, this equals to jobs in that industry.

Cross Skills

Even if you discover your chosen industry is decreasing in the near future, with no signs of recovery, you can find ways to use your skills in another industry. This ability to use “cross skills” inter-industry allows a worker to transfer what they know elsewhere.

Be a worker that keeps current on information regarding your industry of choice. Look for trends of growth and decline–it makes the difference between having a job–or being unemployed. Find ways to use your skills inter-industry by using the OOH and other sites that give company and industry information to assist your search.

©2009 Judy Anne Cavey, who resides in the S.F. Bay Area of California, is a credentialed, certified, higher education instructor who taught Work Experience/Cooperative Education and ESL at three community colleges. She is also a freelance writer and grant writer currently authoring a textbook, has designed other learning programs, and worked with several nonprofits. Her Edublog, “Work Experience”, is a not-for-profit endeavor designed to assist job seekers of all ages.