The Difference Between Life Planning and Career Planning


Career planning consists of the steps you need to take that will get you to your desired career. This includes self-assessments, picking out a major that is relevant to your career plan, and gaining experience. Although your career affects most of your life, it is not the same thing as coming up with a life plan. A career plan helps you determine the things you want out of a career. For example, a career plan can help you realize what environment you would like to work in, your desired compensation, work schedule and much more. Listening to the experience of others and asking questions is a key notion of career building. Networking is a very smart strategy in career planning as well. Believe it or not, more than half of all jobs are achieved from contact networks. Furthermore, many people change their careers an average of four times throughout a lifetime. Therefore, a career plan is not always permanent. A life plan, however, can be altered occasionally, but keep in mind that life is lived only once and that it is not so easy to rebuild your life from scratch.

Life planning, on the other hand, goes beyond career goals. You must look at the big picture and plan accordingly. The steps you take for your career plan are different in various ways than your life plan. A life plan helps you turn your goals, dreams and desires into reality. Ask yourself two questions: What is your destination in life? How will you get there? Having an unknown destination can lead you to getting to the wrong place. Don’t waste your time going through the motions without thinking about what it is you want out of life. To find your destination, create a life map for yourself. Create your life map by reflecting on patterns that have emerged throughout your life. Looking at your past will assist you in the future. If you’ve made mistakes in the past, learn from them and avoid repeat them in the future. Another aspect of life planning is finding your purpose in life. This is an important aspect in career planning as well; however, it is different in some sense because your purpose in life can be separate from your career. You may find your purpose by volunteering at various places and doing different activities. Pay attention to what makes your core self feel most fulfilled. Your life plan should also consist of pursuing your most important dreams and passions. Create short term goals for yourself that are realistic and doable. To answer the second question of your life plan, “how will you get there?” it’s important that you create networks with people who can assist you in achieving your life goals. This is actually important in both life and career planning. If you are serious about achieving your goals don’t lose focus and do not let anyone tell you that you are incapable of doing anything.

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