Make a Plan – Meet Your Goals

Review your career options, set short and long-term SMART goals. Implement your plan.

Map Out Your Career PlanProfessional AssociationsVolunteer/Internships

Map Out Your Career Plan:
Decision Making, Goal Setting, and Action Planning

Once you have compiled sufficient information about yourself and your career options, you will need to make some decisions about new opportunities and choices that are presented to you along your career path. Hone your decision making skills, evaluate the most advantageous path, identify the steps to reach your goals, and finally, create and implement a career action plan. Use the resources below to assist. (If you have not yet finished the self-assessment or career exploration steps, use Focus 2 to complete those steps first)

Set Effective Goals

A goal is an objective you want to achieve. Goals help to focus your direction, keep you on track, and guide you to success. You should set both short- and long-term goals. Goal setting is a powerful technique that can yield strong returns in your life and career.

Tips for Creating and Meeting Goals, Excelsior College
SMART Goal Setting, San Diego CCD
Planning For the Future: Setting Goals Guide
Set Career Goals, iSeek careers


Make Informed Decisions

Making a career decision, or any decision, can be easy or difficult depending on the amount of information you have about your choices. In choosing or changing a career, it is important to consider many factors, both personal and professional.  Good decisions also require time, effort and a well thought out process.

The ACIP Decision Making Method, The Career Key
Paced Decision Making, MyMNCareers

Create and Implement an Action Plan

A career action plan will help you develop a stronger, clearer vision for your professional future. It will include both short- and long-term goals. It will identify how you will go about achieving your goals and objectives by listing the practical steps you will follow to make your visions become a reality.

Sample Action Plan

Create Your Own Excelsior College Action Plan

(for full form functionality, including saving your information, download the action plan once it opens in your browser before personalizing it; form not available on mobile devices)

Tips for Creating an Action PlanExcelsior College
What is a Career Action Plan? Dawn Rosenberg McKay, Guide
Writing a Career Action Plan – Why You Need One, Dawn Rosenberg McKay, Guide
Mapping Your Future, Develop a Career Plan,

Join a Professional Association

Career One Stop Professional Association Finder
Locate national professional associations by occupation or industry served. Contact associations to find professional development opportunities, and keep current on changes in your industry.

The Campus Career Coach – Professional Associations
A list of more than 500 professional association websites, organized alphabetically by profession. Each of these websites has some form of career center, job board or other resources to assist prospective and current professionals in their fields connect with job, internship and scholarship opportunities.

Volunteer Opportunities and Internships

Internship availablility by occupation, across the U.S. Vast listings. Also includes career related blogs and tips.

In-person & Virtual Internship Resources

Volunteering and Non-Profit Career Opportunities
A resource for volunteer opportunities in various work settings.

Nationwide volunteer opportunities posted by local nonprofit and public sector organizations. Search thousands of one-time and ongoing volunteer opportunities by zip code, category, and date. Includes opportunities for virtual volunteer work.

Career Expert and Counselor, Nicole Williams