Posted October 25, 2011 by auset
Categories: Career Tips
by Willette Coleman
I’ve mentored high school and college students who have dreams but no career plan. Truthfully, at 17-years-old, when I wanted to be a fashion designer, I didn’t have a career plan either. Thanks to each of my grandmothers, and my father, who was a professional tailor, I sew well. My portfolio contains photographs of my “forward thinking” designs, as a friend describes them. During a short stint at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), and as an administrative assistant for a clothing manufacturing company in Manhattan’s “garment district,” I realized that the mega stress in an industry where people frantically dash around shouting, cursing, and acting as if a delayed shipment is tantamount to an earthquake, didn’t suit my temperament. Waaaaay too much drama. However, my love for fabric texture, designs, colors, patterns and clothing construction remains. I also enjoyed writing. My Alabama elementary school choir and I, magnificently, sang the graduation song I wrote. Instead of encouragement, family, including my grandmother who anointed me “lawyer”, cautioned that I couldn’t earn a good living writing. But, enough about me. The point is that, hindsight being 20/20, I realize that the four steps in a career plan – Self, Career Options, Career Match, and Career Action Plan – could have helped me tremendously. According to the Education Resource Information Center (ERIC http://www.eric.ed.gov/) “Individualized career plans (ICPs) or personal plans of action can provide focus for an individual’s life”, and “Career development is recognized as a lifelong, ongoing process,” from which anyone at any age can benefit. However, schools with a career planning curriculum, beginning in 9th and 10th grades, helps students grasp the concept and value of creating an ICP while they’re not under the adult pressures to pay bills.
- More Your Game Plan