Career Planning

Career planning is a continuous process, a series of decisions you will make throughout your life. The four main stages of the Career Development Model shown in the diagram on this page—assess, explore, decide, and act, with time to reflect at each stage—are meant to be continuous throughout your career, not performed only once.

The four-year plan created by NCA organizes your career planning while in college by revisiting the four stages during each of your undergraduate years. It will help you to translate your academic and cocurricular experiences into professional skills and opportunities. Make sure that you work with your NCA adviser to adapt the plan to your goals and needs. Not every item will apply to your unique situation. Long-term career planning can be daunting, but if you devote time each year to your career development, your opportunities will be immense and your goals will be attainable. Even though each person’s experience is unique, the following key points apply to everyone:

  • Start early. Planning ahead opens up the widest range of opportunities and gives you time to change your mind along the way.
  • Reflect on your skills, values, interests, and strengths before making any decision.
  • Don’t be afraid to change your path. No career decision is irreversible.