Career planning is not an activity that should be done once — in high school or college — and then left behind as we move forward in our jobs and careers.

Rather, career planning is an activity that is best done on a regular basis — especially given the data that the average worker will change careers (not jobs) multiple times over his or her lifetime. Know that no matter stage you’re at in your career, it’s never too late to start your career planning.

The first steps to take when thinking of changing career:

“Your starting point is to really think about what’s important to you in a career. What sort of working environment do you think you’ll be happy in? What energises you most work-wise? And what do you naturally love doing and are good at? All these questions will help you to identify some possible avenues. Spending a bit of time thinking about yourself and what fulfills you will help you to make the right choices.”

Map Your Path Since Last Career Planning

One of your first activities — whenever you take on career planning — is to spend time mapping out your job and career path since the last time you did any sort of career planning.

While you should not dwell on your past, taking the time to review and reflect on the path — whether straight and narrow or one filled with any curves and dead-ends — will help you plan for the future.

Once you’ve mapped your past, take the time to reflect on your course — and note why it looks the way it does. Are you happy with your path? Could you have done things better? What might you have done differently? What can you do differently in the future?

Identify the skills you need to have

Next, look at job postings for the position you want to have. What requirements are listed? Remember, you don’t need to have every requirement listed on a job posting to apply—but there are some that are often deal-breakers. You may need to take a class or get a degree. You may need to take a salary cut and start at a lower-level position than the one you’re at currently. Or, you may need to think of creative ways to add experience to your resume, such as taking on a volunteer position that allows you to learn new skills.

Use all of this information to create a timeline and to-do list for your transition to new work—this may involve taking classes,www.iibmindia.in

Never Stop Learning

A proven way to advance in your career is to be continually acquiring new knowledge. Stay on top of trends or developments in your field and make sure that your current resume reflects those needed skills. Take specific actions to improve your skills. Look for opportunities for training. Read books. Read blogs. Make an effort to learn new skills and practice them as much as you can in your current job. Always remember these words “If you are not moving forward, you are moving backward.”