Career Planning – What do you want to be when you grow up?
Career planning starts as toddlers learn to speak and read books, have experiences, and maybe try scouting when they come of age. They start thinking about what they want to be when they grow up.
I can remember wanting to be an art teacher in kindergarten, and then I wanted to be a French teacher in high school. My career planning changed over the years.
My first job at age 11 was planting, picking, and selling fruits and vegetables on a farm in New Jersey. Still, I have reinvented myself numerous times and am now self-employed, writing resumes and LinkedIn profiles and providing career professional development training. Again, my career planning changed over the years.
Before starting in the career services industry, I worked in the ceramic tile industry, general contracting and construction management, mental health and clinical trials, franchising, real estate, nonprofit, and K-12 education. I earned two administrative and nine instructional certifications from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
I needed two key skills throughout my career: writing and speaking. Writing is an essential skill as I work on my doctoral dissertation on LinkedIn.
As children progress through their K-12 education and beyond, they learn many writing styles but usually are not taught how to format a resume.
Since I used to teach writing to K-12 students in special ed, regular ed, and gifted and talented, I did have students prepare resumes, cover letters, and thank you notes, and I would never teach the way I taught before, now that I know what I know.
Why? I lived in a K-12 bubble and had not received career professional development, so I used what I found on Google.
Although most of my clients are mid- to senior-level executives, professionals, attorneys, PhDs, self-employed, and more, I get a fair share of college students who show me the resumes their professors asked them to write.
Higher ed may be another bubble where career professional development is missing for the professors, as evidenced by the resumes that college students hand me.
I believe K-12 teachers and college professors should be role models for their students and seek professional development to optimize their resumes and LinkedIn profiles.
Career document writing, personal finance classes, and family and consumer sciences should be required in K-12 education so students can prepare to live and work after graduation. Students who attend college should tap into their college career services department, too. Nonetheless, “What I want to be when I grow up” career writing assignments can start as soon as children can write.
Remember, knowledge is power, so be a lifelong learner and keep on learning, even as an adult.
Here are some resources below. Any teacher can take the concepts and make them age-appropriate for elementary, middle, high school, or college students. Adults can utilize these resources for career transition and career management.
Get Started Resume Resources
September is International Update Your Resume Month (for STAR stories and more)
Get Started LinkedIn Profile Resources
My publications with over 200 career articles
Since September is International Update Your Resume Month, prepare to take action!
- Subscribe to my newsletter on LinkedIn for bright ideas to manage your career.
- Join as a member at https://greatcareers.org/membership of the #1 business networking association on the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Book of Lists three years in a row!
- If you need a resume or LinkedIn profile to get you to your next step, book a call to chat!
- Follow #GreatCareersPHL
Lynne M. Williams is the Executive Director of the Great Careers Groups, a volunteer-run 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides career development and networking connections for 1) job seekers in career transition, including veterans, and 2) employed and self-employed for career management.
Aside from writing keyword-focused content for ATS resumes and LinkedIn profiles, Lynne is currently writing her doctoral dissertation on LinkedIn for Job Seekers. She is a contributing author on “Applying to Positions” in Find Your Fit: A Practical Guide to Landing the Job You Love, along with the late Dick Bolles, the author of What Color is Your Parachute?, and is also a speaker on career topics.