In our busy day to day lives it can seem an indulgence to put aside time to spend just thinking about ourselves and so the idea of career planning is something that gets put off until later. However, when you consider most people are likely to change careers at least five times in their working life, giving time to the planning of your career is time well spent! Isolation has provided many of us the opportunity of unscheduled time in our day, that could be spent on us and getting to know ourselves, whether it's half an hour each day, half a day, or more!
Career planning doesnt require a large amount of time to be set aside as you can dip in and out of doing it. In fact, your goals might change or unexpected opportunities may come your way during your working life which will require you to rethink the plan you made - be flexible and open to changes.
Self-awareness is key to planning your career; what are your values, what do you want to achieve from your job, how important is a high salary compared to working nearer to home, what skills or interests do you have already? Why not make a list and rate these things in importance 1-10. Their ranking on your list may change over time as your priorities might also change, career goals are not set in stone and will usually evolve which is why it is important to revisit your career plan throughout your working life - it is not a do once and forget task! Your career advisor at college can give you details of a website where you can complete quizzes in order to help you identify some of these things, just drop her an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Once you have identified the things that are important or of value to you in a career then you can start setting yourself goals in order to to get there. As a college student you probably already know about SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound goals. Use this method to plan your career goals, set some long and short term goals. Its feels great to achieve goals so keeping them realistic means you are more likely to follow and enjoy the plan you create.
Finally, once the goals are set it's time to make your career plan. If one of your goals was to gain more of an understanding of the industry you want to work in then your career plan might be to be to train as an apprentice as part of your journey to working in that career. Or if you know you want to go to university in order to gain the qualifications you need to work in that career, then set goals to attend open days or a summer residential in order to move towards studying a degree as part of your career journey. Remember, you don't have to start your career plan immediately, planning is the first step towards it and when you are ready to start you will have all the tools you need to be successful.
Good luck and enjoy giving yourself some me time!